Taiwan Loses Diplomatic Ties with African Island Nation

Taiwan is somewhat of an international anomaly. China still considers it as a breakaway province that remains under Beijing’s control, and just under two dozen governments recognize it as a nation state. Today, that number shrunk to 20.

Now, the government of the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principle have cut official ties with Taipei. Any government wishing to establish diplomatic relations with China must support the One China policy and shun Taiwan. This notion is recognized by the United States and other world powers.

China welcomed Sao Tome’s move and congratulated the island nation for getting “back onto the correct path of the One China principle.”

The shift comes a little more than a week after president-elect Donald J. Trump pulled away from traditional diplomatic policy and said the U.S. does not have to recognize the One China Principle. No stranger to controversy, Trump also shocked media pundits across the nation after becoming the first U.S. soon-to-be president to have official communications with a Taiwanese authority, after he said he accepted a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister David Lee says that Sao Tome was demanding “an astronomical amount of financial help.” He provided no further details on the topic but added, “We think the Beijing government should not use Sao Tome’s financing black hole … as an opportunity to push its ‘One China’ principle”

“This behavior is not helpful to a smooth cross-strait relationship.”

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.