President-elect El Salvador reconsiders switch from Taiwan to China

Leftist predecessor chose Beijing last August after more than 70 years of ties with Taiwan

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Salvadorean President-elect Nayib Bukele  with his wife Gabriela.

Salvadorean President-elect Nayib Bukele with his wife Gabriela. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The president-elect of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, was reconsidering his predecessor’s decision last year to abandon diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognize China instead, reports said Friday.

Bukele won the February 3 election by a landslide and will be the first president in decades not to come from the two traditional political parties in the Central American nation. Outgoing leftist President Salvador Sanchez Ceren ended more than 70 years of relations with Taiwan last August.

During the election campaign, Bukele reportedly questioned the benefits of the move toward China, the Liberty Times reported. Once his administration takes office in June, it will conduct a thorough review of the reasons for the diplomatic switch, reports said.

Bukele campaign officials allegedly described the move as benefiting only the then-governing party, rather than the whole nation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was paying close attention to developments in the former ally, according to the Liberty Times.

El Salvador was one of five nations to break ties with Taiwan under Chinese pressure since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, leaving the island with 17 official diplomatic allies.