China resumes ties with Sao Tome in blow to Taiwan

The small West African nation ended diplomatic relations with Taiwan less than a week ago.

(AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Beijing announced Monday that it has re-established diplomatic ties with Sao Tome and Principe, a small West African nation that had just ended diplomatic relations with Taiwan last week.

China’s Foreign Ministry announced today that it has resumed diplomatic relations with the former Taiwan ally, after the two nations’ foreign ministers met in Beijing and signed books at a ceremony in front of their flags, less than a week after the small West African nation broke ties with Taiwan.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after signing the deal that Sao Tome will get full support from his nation in its quest for socio-economic development, according to media reports.

On December 21, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry announced that Sao Tome has severed ties with Taiwan. The two countries have maintained mutual diplomatic relationships for nearly 20 years since May 1997, when Sao Tome switched diplomatic recognition from China to Taiwan.

Sources revealed that Sao Tome and Principe had recently asked for financial assistance of up to US$200 million dollars, but was turned down by the ROC government due to its unwillingness to engage in “dollar diplomacy.”

Taiwan now has diplomatic relationships with 21 countries, while in Africa only Burkina Faso and Swaziland still maintain formal ties with Taiwan.