Dominican Republic 'deserted Taiwan after $3.1bn payment from Beijing'

Dominican Republic

Panama switched its diplomatic relations from Beijing to Taipei a year ago, and Costa Rica did likewise in 2007.

Establishing diplomatic ties with China brings the Dominican Republic great opportunities and will benefit the people of DR, the state-run Xinhua quoted Wang as saying.

Wu insisted that ties with the Holy See "would not be in immediate danger", even if there were to be a breakthrough agreement on designating bishops in China.

It says it will later recognise Taiwan as an "inalienable part of Chinese territory".

China's foreign ministry said the move was a political one with no economic pre-conditions, but that now they have established ties, China will "proactively promote mutually beneficial co-operation in all areas".

The ministry started worrying about the possibility of losing the Dominican Republic as an ally when it learned of the first meeting, a sentiment that was compounded by then-minister of foreign affairs David Lee's (李大維) failure to secure a meeting with his Dominican Republic counterpart and a high-level aide to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina when he visited the Caribbean nation in July past year.

Taiwan split from mainland China amid civil in 1949, and Beijing campaigns relentlessly to isolate the island globally.

"In the face of the Beijing authorities' continued use of financial assistance to harm my country's friendly ties with its allies, since 2016 our diplomatic and national security teams have closely paid attention to ties with the Dominican Republic and put all our efforts into stabilizing ties", said the statement from Ms. Tsai's office. Costa Rica switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 2007.

The Caribbean country has ended 77 years of diplomatic dealings with Taiwan and opened formal relations with China.

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China's new diplomatic ally in the region is some 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) southeast of the United States.

None of the two countries that hosted the meetings were Taiwan's diplomatic allies, the official said.

"This important and correct decision is in full compliance with the fundamental interest of the Dominican Republic and its people", he said, according to a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs paraphrasing his comments.

Espinal said that the government was grateful to Taiwan.

Relations between the two have worsened since the island elected Tsai Ing-wen as president in 2016.

"We are deeply grateful for the co-operation we've shared for years", he said.

As a result, China refuses to have diplomatic relations with nations that deal diplomatically with Taiwan, as that treats the island like an independent country.

"However, history and the socioeconomic reality force us now to change direction", he explained.

But Beijing considers Taiwan to be a province of China that will eventually be fully reunified.

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