Panama has severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established ties with China, marking another victory for Beijing in its efforts to isolate Taipei.
Officials from China and Panama signed a joint communiqué in Beijing on Tuesday establishing diplomatic relations, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing Chinese state media.
A joint statement carried by Xinhua and posted on the Panamanian president’s website said the Panama government recognizes that there is “only one China” and that Taiwan is “an inalienable part of Chinese territory”.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed “anger and regret” over Panama’s decision and said Taipei would immediately end all foreign aid and bilateral cooperation with the Central American country.
Panama’s decision comes against the backdrop of a campaign by Beijing to put pressure on Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party advocates independence for the island.
Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province and refuses formal ties with countries that recognize the island as a country.
Taiwan condemned Beijing for “tempting” Panama to cut off relations with Taipei, saying China’s continual effort to marginalize the island is provocative and endangers the stability in the region.
The Journal cited a Taiwanese official as saying in a press conference that Beijing’s latest move “pushes cross-Strait ties from peace to confrontation”.
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