Tsai Ing-wen at a press conference announcing Burkina Faso shortened diplomatic relations with Taiwan on May 24. 1
9659003] Photographer: The Asahi Shimbun on Getty Images
The West African nation of Burkina Faso has broken off formal ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing on Thursday, reducing the number of countries officially recognizing Taiwan to 18 to the Republic of China , The setback – just four weeks after the Dominican Republic [19659-05] did the same – puts Taiwan's fragile diplomatic position in the spotlight as the break with Beijing escalates.
In a statement released on Twitter on Thursday, President Tsai Ing. We reaffirmed her renunciation of competition for formal diplomatic relations with an increasingly wealthy China and focused her energies on unofficial ties with larger, more influential countries such as the US
"Today #China introduced #BurkinaFaso to separate diplomatic relations with #Taiwan ," Tsai wrote. "It will only bring Taiwan closer to countries that share our values: #democracy & #freedom It will only increase our determination to look at the world, rather than across the street . "
Beijing and Taipei have been competing for diplomatic recognition since 1949, when nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan English: The US has set a stalemate, with each side claiming to be the legitimate ruler of China. The Communist Party, however, failed to persuade one of the island 's allies to join former President Ma Ying-jeou, who advocated closer economic relations with Beijing.
This relaxation ended when Tsai – whose Democratic Progressive Party supported China's independence – took office in May 2016 and refused to accept Mas's framework for negotiations with Beijing. Since then, China has established ties with five Taiwanese partners, including the Gambia, Panama and Sao Tome and Principe.
Julian Ku, professor of constitutional law at Hofstra University, warned that China's intensified efforts to isolate Taiwan could drive the country island to formalize its independence.
"Taiwan's zero allies are not in Beijing's interest," he said in an e-mail. "These diplomatic allies have recognized Taiwan as the" Republic of China, "which, from Beijing's perspective, is better than a step to recognize Taiwan as" the Republic of Taiwan. "