Dominican Republic Establishes China Ties in Taiwan Blow

(Bloomberg) -- The Dominican Republic established diplomatic relations with China, in a new blow to Taiwan as Beijing seeks to isolate the self-governed island.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the joint communique with his Dominican counterpart to establish ties at ambassadorial level in Beijing on Tuesday morning, China’s Central Television said in a Weibo post. Taiwan cut its relations with the Caribbean nation.

The move reduces to 19 the number of countries that recognize the government in Taipei, rather than Beijing -- the latest success in China’s effort to squeeze Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters in Taipei that China lured the Dominican Republic with money and the island would not bow to pressure from Beijing. He added that relations with other allies were stable and there’s no immediate danger to Taiwan’s ties with the Vatican.

Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina’s legal aide Flavio Dario Espinal said the establishment of ties with China creates "immense" opportunities in areas from finance to technology, tourism, education and energy.

The Communist Party considers Taiwan a province and has criticized Tsai’s refusal to accept that both sides belong to “One China,” its precondition for ties. Since her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party was swept to power in 2016, Beijing has attempted to woo Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic partners. In June last year, it won over Panama.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.