01/20/2005, 00.00
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Beijing compels Grenada to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Grenada has broken off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognised the People's Republic of China.

The announcement was made in a press release signed by Grenadian Foreign Minister Elvin Nimrod and his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing.

Relations between St George's and Taipei were broken after Grenada signed an agreement with China that would give it important commercial and economic advantages on the condition that the Caribbean island nation end diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which mainland China considers a breakaway province.

With the defection of Grenada, Taiwan now has diplomatic relations as the 'Republic of China' with only 25 countries.

Taiwan has been de facto independent from mainland China since 1949 when Chang Kai-shek's nationalist army fled across the strait after being defeated by the Communists of Mao Zedong.

Taiwan was China's the sole representative at the United Nations until 1972 when the communist government on the mainland took its place.

Ever since, Taiwan has tried to maintain diplomatic relations by providing economic assistance to small or poor countries.

Many countries, which have recognised the People's Republic, still maintain low –level diplomatic ties with Taiwan in order to benefit from the island's developed economy.

The US also recognises mainland China and subscribes to its 'one China policy'. Never the less, it supports only peaceful reunification and has pledged to come to Taiwan's defence should China intervene militarily against its rebel province.

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