05/01/2018, 12.55
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The Dominican Republic chooses relations with China over Taiwan

Currently there are 19 countries that have diplomatic ties with Taipei, most of them small developing countries. These include the Vatican. Taiwanese Foreign Minister: Relations with the Vatican remain firm and solid. The China-Holy See dialogue concerns only the appointments and ordinations of the official bishops.

Taipei (AsiaNews) - The government of the Dominican Republic has announced its intention to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing, breaking its relations with Taipei. The poor Caribbean country is the latest in a growing list countries to come under Beijing’s influence to increasingly isolate the island.

Last year Panama decided to establish diplomatic relations with China, abandoning those with Taiwan.

Currently there are 19 countries that have diplomatic ties with Taipei, most of them small developing countries. These also include the Vatican.

For years Beijing has engaged a "war of diplomacy" against the island, considered a "rebel province" to be reconquered. Through donations and trade facilitation, China is making inroads among the countries that still recognize Taiwan.

The Dominican minister Miguel Vargas and the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi held a brief meeting to greet the new diplomatic relations (see photo).

According to Taipei Foreign Minister, Joseph Wu, Beijing spent "astronomical figures" to coax the Dominican Republic away from Taiwan. Taiwan has also donated millions of dollars for development projects in the past.

Since dialogue is taking place between Beijing and the Vatican, many wonder whether this will not lead to a break between the Holy See and Taipei. In a press conference, Minister Wu said that for now relations with the Vatican remain firm and solid: "As far as we have learned, their talks do not involve politics and there is no imminent risk [of a switch in ties] at the moment ". In fact, the dialogues between China and the Holy See concern only an agreement for the nomination and ordination procedures of the bishops of the official Church. But even on this point it seems that China is delaying its agreement.

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