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Dominican Republic breaks with Taiwan, recognizes China

By Sara Shayanian
Dominican Republic breaks with Taiwan, recognizes China
Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi show documents after a signing ceremony in Beijing Tuesday, where they formally established diplomatic relations. Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA-EFE

May 1 (UPI) -- China and the Dominican Republic established formal diplomatic relations Tuesday, a move that cut the Caribbean nation's ties to Taiwan -- and left the Taipei government further isolated internationally.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas signed a joint communique on the diplomacy in Beijing after the Dominican Republic moved to cut ties with Tapei.

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The move highlighted the "one China" standard employed by many nations, including the United States.

"The government of the Dominican Republic 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," the agreement said.

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Taiwan reacted angrily to the news, saying Dominican President Danilo Medina "ignored" the partnership between the two nations to accept "false promises" of investment and aid from China.

"We strongly condemn China's objectionable decision to use dollar diplomacy to convert Taiwan's diplomatic allies," Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. "Beijing's attempts at foreign policy have only served to drive a wedge between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, erode mutual trust, and further harm the feelings of the people of Taiwan."

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Beijing refuses to acknowledge countries that recognize Taiwan, a self-governed island off China's southeastern coast. China still considers Taiwan a part of its territory -- a claim the democratic island has rejected.

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"While Taiwan faces serious diplomatic challenges, the government will not bow down to pressure from Beijing," the foreign ministry said. "Our diplomats around the world will continue to fight for Taiwan's dignity and rights."

A success for Beijing, Tuesday's agreement between China and the Dominican Republic has further isolated the Taipei government -- leaving Taiwan with fewer than 20 countries that recognize it.

Taiwan was dealt a diplomatic blow last year when the government of Panama announced it had severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of recognizing mainland China.

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