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            june 26, 2017

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Panama shuns Taiwan by recognising China

  15.06.2017    

Panama is opening diplomatic relations with China, which means cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan as Beijing score another victory in isolating the self-governing island, reports Bloomberg News.
China is the second-biggest user of the Panama Canal and has played a key role in sectors from banking to telecommunications, said Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela in an address to the nation.
Mr Varela said Taiwan had been a great friend. "We have taken a historic step. Both countries opt for the connection of a world that is more and more integrated, which creates a new era of opportunities for a relationship that we are starting today."
This reduces to 20 the number of nations that recognise Taipei, rather than Beijing - the latest success in China's effort to squeeze Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
The loss of Panama, one of Taiwan's oldest diplomatic friends, may prompt others such as the Vatican or Paraguay to follow suit.
"China-Panama relations have opened a new chapter," said Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a signing ceremony in Beijing.
He toasted the new diplomatic victory with Panamanian vice president and foreign minister, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado.
"We recognise the PRC is the only government of China," said Ms Saint Malo in severing ties with Taiwan.
Said Taiwan presidential spokesman Joseph Wu: "Beijing's suppression of Taiwan's international space is not just an open threat to the Taiwanese people's right to life, it is a provocation of the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the region," the office said in a statement. "We strongly condemn this."



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