Burkina Faso chooses Beijing, leaving Taipei
by Wang Zhicheng

The African country will receive (economic) benefits from this relationship.  Taiwan says China continues to use dollar diplomacy. Since Tsai Ing-wen became president, five states have left Taiwan for popular China.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - Burkina Faso has decided to establish diplomatic relations with China; two days earlier it had cut off relations with Taiwan. The move by Burkina takes place a few weeks after the decision of the Dominican Republic to abandon relations with the island to bind to Beijing. This reduces the number of countries that recognize Taiwan to 18.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Burkina colleague, Alpha Barry, signed a joint statement last May 26. Wang said that the African country "took the right decision, following the course of the times". Barry stressed that China is the most important economy in the world and that his nation will receive benefits from this relationship.

According to the Global Times – part of the People's Daily news group which refers to the Chinese Communist Party - trade between Taiwan and Burkina was only 13 million US dollars in 2015. In the same year, trade with China totaled 395 million.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan (Republic of China) accuses Burkina Faso of "being enticed by the dollar diplomacy" being used by Beijing, forgetting "the significant contribution that Taiwan has made over the last 24 years".

Since 2016, when Tsai Ing-wen won the presidential election, supported by the DPP (Democratic Progress Party), which pushes for Taiwan's autonomy and even independence, Beijing has launched a real campaign to isolate the island from an international point of view, and has led to a break in its relations with five States: Burkina, the Dominican Republic, Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama. This year, like last year, Beijing blocked Taiwan's participation as an observer in the World Health Assembly.

Beijing has warned international airlines to make clear on their websites and destinations that Taiwan is an integral part of popular China.

Since 1949, Taiwan has been home to Chiang Kai-shek's government of the Republic of China, who fled from the continent following Mao Zedong's seizure of power. Beijing considers the island a "rebel province" that must be reconquered with a possible use of force. According to analysts, the tussle of Beijing, wants to push Taiwan, so far among the largest "foreign" investors, to continue investing in China.