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News > World

El Salvador Strengthens Ties With China, Breaks With Taiwan

  • Salvadoren president, Sanchez Ceren During addresses the country on Monday night announcing El Salvador's tightening ties with China. Aug. 20, 2018.

    Salvadoren president, Sanchez Ceren During addresses the country on Monday night announcing El Salvador's tightening ties with China. Aug. 20, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 August 2018

El Salvador's government says its siding with China and recognizing Taiwan as a part of the People's Republic, the fourth country to do so over the past year.

China and El Salvador have formally strengthened diplomatic ties by signing a joint communique in Beijing on Tuesday that recognizes Taiwan as part of China.

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The accord was signed by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Salvadoran Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda.

The communique read: "The People's Republic of China and the Republic of El Salvador, in keeping with the interests and desire of the two peoples, have decided to recognize each other and establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level effective from the date of signature of this communique.

"The Government of the Republic of El Salvador recognizes that there is but one China in the world, that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory," agreed the officials from both countries.

By signing, El Salvador agreed to sever its "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and cut off any official exchanges with the island. The Salvadoran embassy will remain in Beijing.

At the Tuesday meeting, Wang told reporters: "Adhering to the one-China principle is a universally recognized international norm, (and is) a fundamental foundation for China to establish and develop relations with any country.”

The Chinese foreign minister added: "El Salvador has now stood with the overwhelming majority of the countries in the world by resolutely deciding to recognize and make a commitment to abiding by the one-China principle, and to establish diplomatic ties with China without any preconditions."

According to Chinese state media, so far, 178 countries have established diplomatic ties with China, according to Wang. Panama made the switch to ally with China in 2017, and Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic did so early this year.

Taiwan and several other islands declared themselves as the Republic of China in 1949, while the People’s Republic of China doesn’t recognize the break off from the mainland and refers to Taiwan as a ‘renegade province’.

Castaneda said that establishing diplomatic ties with China is a strategic decision made by El Salvador. The country’s president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, said in a Monday speech that his administration made the decision after "careful analysis." The head of state added: "Fundamentally, it's an interest in betting on the growth of our country with one of the world's most booming economies. … El Salvador can't turn its back on international reality."

The Salvadoran foreign minister said that representatives are in Beijing to continue talks on trade, investment, infrastructure, science, health, education, tourism and support for small and medium-size companies.

This "will generate tangible benefits for the whole population," Sanchez Ceren said.


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