Tiny African nation cuts ties with Taipei In­side

Returns Sao Tome and Principe to ‘right track’ on one-China prin­ci­ple: Bei­jing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE in Bei­jing and CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton

One of Tai­wan’s three African al­lies cut its “diplo­matic ties” with the is­land, and ob­servers pre­dicted more such de­feats if Tai­wan con­tin­ues to chal­lenge the one-China prin­ci­ple.

The African is­land nation of the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Sao Tome and Principe an­nounced on Tues­day that it had bro­ken its “diplo­matic ties” with Tai­wan.

Cur­rently, 21 coun­tries and gov­ern­ments, mainly small na­tions and is­lands in Latin Amer­ica, Ocea­nia and Africa, rely heav­ily on eco­nomic aid from Tai­wan and hold such ties with the is­land.

For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said on Wed­nes­day that China wel­comed the de­ci­sion by Sao Tome and Principe, since the one- China pol­icy is widely rec­og­nized around the world.

China praised the move and wel­comed the African coun­try to “re­turn to the right track of the one-China prin­ci­ple”, she said, adding that the prin­ci­ple is re­lated to China’s core in­ter­ests and is the po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion for China’s friendly ties with other coun­tries.

Sao Tome and Principe, which achieved in­de­pen­dence re­la­tion­shipfrom Por­tu­gal­with Chi­nain 1975, in is July the 1975, sec­ond-small­est­but Bei­jing cut African the re­la­tion­ship­coun­try af­terin 1997 Sey­chelles.af­ter the The African nation is­land es­tab­lished coun­trya diplo­matic an­nounced re­la­tion­shipthat it would­with China es­tab­lishin July “diplo­matic1975, but Bei­jing ties” cut with the Taipei. re­la­tion­ship in 1997 af­ter The­breakofthe African tiesan­nouncedis­land coun­try on Tues­day an­nounced oc­curs that amidit would cross­es­tab­lishS­traits ten­sion “diplo­matic fol­low­ing ties” Tai­wan with Taipei. leader Tsai Ing-wen’s con­grat­u­la­to­ryIn Wash­ing­ton call on toUS Wed­nes­day, pres­i­dent-elect State Don­ald Depart­men­tTrump on spokesman­Dec 2. The phoneJohn Kir­by­call broke­said the four US decade­shas a of deep Sino-USand diplo­mat­i­cabid­ing in­ter­est prece­dent.in cross-Straits sta­bil­ity.If Tsai “We con­tin­ues be­lieve thatto chal­lenge­di­a­logue be­tween­the one-Chi­nathe two prin­ci­ple,sides has en­abledTai­wan will peace, face sta­bil­ity, tougher and pun­ish­ment de­vel­op­ment­from thein re­cent main­land, years,” withhe said.the is­land’s abil­ity to “We par­tic­i­pa­teurge all con­cernedin in­ter­na­tion­al­par­ties ac­tiv­i­ties fur­ther squeezed, to en­gage in a pro­duc­tive said Wang Hail­iang, a di­a­logue that sup­ports re­searcher of Tai­wan stud­ies cross-Straits sta­bil­ity and to avoid desta­bi­liz­ing moves, bu­tat the ob­vi­ously, Shang­hai this Acade­myis a de­ci­sion of So­cial that Sci­ences.Sao Tome and Principe Wang have saidto speak that­manyto,” Kirby coun­tries told the have daily vowed brief­ing.to cut ties with Asked Taipei by in Tai­wan ex­change re­porters for build­ing whether diplo­mat­ic­the new ties sit­u­a­tion with China.is a How­ever,change of Bei­jingsta­tus quo has and showna move re­straintby theon the Chi­nese is­sue main­landin re­cent yearsto iso­late when Tai­wan, Tai­wan Kirby au­thor­i­ties re­peat­e­dled byMathat Ying-jeou“this is a ques­tion main­tained­for Sao Tome peace­fu­land Principe de­vel­op­mentto speak with to, the not main­land­for the Unite­don the States.”ba­sis of the oneChina “I’ve prin­ci­ple.al­ready said what our pol­icy “Nowis withit’s the re­spect right to time cross­for Strait­sChina to re­la­tion­stake those and coun­tries’sta­bil­ity, and of­fers that into hasn’t con­sid­er­a­tion,”changed,” he he said. said, adding that Tai­wan au­thor­i­tiesThe break ledof tiesby Tsai an­nounced­will be on snubbed Tues­dayby more oc­curs coun­triesamid cross-Straits­be­cause the is­land’s ten­sion au­thor­i­ties­fol­low­ing Tai­wanare seek­ing lead­erto changeT­sai Ing­wen’s the sta­tus quo across the Straits, con­grat­u­la­tory call to which could lead to re­gional US pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald in­sta­bil­ity. Trump on Dec 2. The phone

In March, Bei­jing re­sumed call broke four decades of diplo­matic ties at am­bas­sador Sino-US diplo­matic prece­dent.

If Tsai con­tin­ues to chal­lenge level the with one-China Gambia, prin­ci­ple, the West Tai­wan African will coun­try­face tougherthat cut pun­ish­ment“diplo­matic from re­la­tions”the main­land,with Tai­wan within 2013.the is­land’s abil­ity to Jin par­tic­i­pateYong, deputyin in­ter­na­tion­al­head of ac­tiv­i­ti­es­the School fur­therof For­eign squeezed, Stud­ies sai­dat Com­mu­ni­ca­tionWang Hail­iang, Univer­sity a re­searcherof China,of Tai­wan­said that stud­ies the at main­landthe Shang­hai­has more Acade­my­cards toof So­cialplay if Sci­ences.Tsai re­fuses to rec­og­nize Wang the said 1992 that many Con­sen­sus, coun­tries which have en­dorsed vowed the to one-Chi­na­cut ties with prin­ci­ple.Taipei in ex­change for build­ingFor ex­am­ple, diplo­matic Bei­jing ties could with China.make diplo­matic How­ever, ef­forts Bei­jing to has bar shown Taipei’s re­straint par­tic­i­pa­tionon thein in­ter­na­tional is­sue in re­cent ac­tiv­i­ties,years as Jin Tai­wan­said. au­thor­i­tiesIn Septem­ber,led by the Ma In­ter­na­tional Ying­jeou main­tainedCivil Avi­a­tion peace­fulOr­ga­ni­za­tion, which op­er­ates un­der devel­op­ment with the main­land the frame­work of the United on the ba­sis of the oneNa­tions, did not in­vite Tai­wan China prin­ci­ple. to par­tic­i­pate in its

“Now it’s the right time for assem­bly in Canada, be­cause China to take those coun­tries’ the cur­rent Tai­wan au­thor­i­ties of­fers into con­sid­er­a­tion,” he have re­fused to rec­og­nize said. the 1992 Con­sen­sus.

TOBY MELVILLE / REUTERS

Lanterns in the form of gi­raffes light up the night dur­ing a Chi­nese Lantern Fes­ti­val dis­play on Tues­day at Lon­gleat House, near Warmin­ster in Eng­land. In China, the fes­ti­val is held in Fe­bru­ary or March.

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