BEIJING (AP) — When Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen departs Sunday for Latin America, she'll be traveling to a region she's already visited three times in two years.
She doesn't have many other options.
As Tsai crosses the halfway mark of her first four-year term, an eight-day swing through Paraguay and Belize is a reflection of how Taiwan's diplomatic isolation has worsened in the midst of a suffocating Chinese pressure campaign. Just 18 countries — mostly clustered in Latin America, the South Pacific and Caribbean — still maintain formal ties with the self-ruling island, down from 22 when Tsai entered office in 2016.
Since Tsai swept into power, China has worked to persuade countries to establish relations with Beijing and cut ties with Taiwan, which it considers its territory.