One more ally ditches Taiwan as China lures away El Salvador

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Wu said Taiwan will halt all bilateral cooperative projects, cut all assistance to the former ally, and pull out its diplomatic staff and technical missions from the country that has had ties with the Republic of China since 1933.

According to the foreign minister, El Salvador had been in talks with Beijing on the possibility of establishing diplomatic ties since June 2018, and Taiwan had been doing its best to persuade the country to reconsider the decision but to no avail.

The news came just after Tsai, who is trying to raise Taiwan's worldwide profile, wrapped up a Latin American tour which included stops in the United States, which drew criticism from China.

China insists that Taiwan acknowledge the existence of the consensus, under which the two sides notionally agreed that there is "one China" though it is now ruled from different seats of power in Beijing and Taipei, as the foundation of cross-Strait relations.

"History will prove that establishing diplomatic relations with China is in full accordance with the fundamental and long-term interests of the country and the people of El Salvador", Wang said.

Sensing that it had done all it could diplomatically, the Foreign Ministry chose to announce the severing of ties with El Salvador at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Wu said.

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"Some countries (that switched diplomatic allegiance to Beijing) are coming back to us and saying they didn't get what China promised, they didn't get what China promised financially and they're not getting what China promised politically", Taiwan Foreign Minister Wu told CNN in an interview last month.

"We will turn to countries with similar values to fight together against China's increasingly out-of-control global behavior", Tsai said.

"The Taiwanese government is fully against competing in dollar diplomacy with China", Wu said.

The decision leaves Taiwan with 17 diplomatic allies. "My government is unwilling to and can not do so".

The island's 23 million residents are strongly in favor of maintaining their de facto independent status, but Xi has previously warned a Taiwanese envoy that the issue of unification can not be put off indefinitely.

Speaking in Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan will not bow to pressure, describing the El Salvador move as further evidence of China's efforts to squeeze the island, which have included regular Chinese bomber patrols around Taiwan.

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"It will give great benefits to the country and provide extraordinary opportunities on a personal level to each one of you", he said.

Last week Tsai traveled to Latin America where she sought to shore up support among Taiwan's remaining allies, Belize and Paraguay.

The administration of President Donald Trump has been boosting relations with Taiwan amid a brewing trade war with Beijing.

"Taiwan will not yield because of pressure", Tsai said in a televised address.

The Communist Party government has waged an intense campaign of diplomatic pressure against Tsai's government since she came to power, driven by its ire over her refusal to accept the so-called "1992 consensus" in her inauguration speech.

"They are trying to find weak spots in the region, where they can make these kinds of arrangements. we are concerned that it is not only investment in a port, but then they want to do something with their military and they want to expand Chinese influence in the region".

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