With Gambia move, China ends diplomatic truce with TaiwanPosted: March 17, 2016
China resumed ties with former Taiwan ally Gambia on Thursday, ending an unofficial diplomatic truce between China and Taiwan following January’s landslide election of the leader of a pro-independence party as the self-ruled island’s president.
The small West African state was one of a few African countries, along with Burkina Faso, Swaziland and São Tomé and Príncipe, to recognize Taiwan, which China regards as a wayward province to be recovered by force if necessary.
China and Taiwan had for years tried to poach each other’s allies, often dangling generous aid packages in front of leaders of developing nations.
But they began an unofficial diplomatic truce after signing a series of landmark trade and economic agreements in 2008 after the election of the China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou as Taiwan’s president, as Beijing tried to convince Taiwan of its friendly intentions after decades of hostility and suspicion.
While Gambia severed relations with Taiwan in November 2013, causing anger in Taipei, China had held off establishing formal ties with it until now.
“From here on, China and Gambia’s relations have turned over a new leaf,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Gambian counterpart, Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The early resumption of ties accords with the basic interests of both countries and conforms to the trend of the times and general trend of the development of China-Africa friendship and cooperation,” Wang added.
Macdouall-Gaye, in comments carried on Chinese state television, said the Gambian nation supported “the national reunification, peaceful reunification” of China and Taiwan.
Beijing has repeatedly warned against any moves toward independence since Tsai Ing-wen and her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the presidential and parliamentary elections. Tsai assumes office in May.
Source: Reuters “With Gambia move, China ends diplomatic truce with Taiwan”