China’s devious designs against its neighbor Taiwan have forced El Salvador to align with Beijing and break ties with the island nation. El Salvador is just one among the many countries that has been pressured by the Chinese government into breaking off their relationship with Taiwan.
El Salvador chooses China
Now that El Salvador is aligning with China, Taiwan faces a big problem — there are just 17 countries in the world that recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation. The island nation has condemned China’s approach of turning Taiwan’s allies against it and threatening the democratic foundation of the Taiwanese society.
As usual, China seduced El Salvador through promises of financial aid and investment. “It will give great benefits to the country and provide extraordinary opportunities on a personal level to each one of you,” Time quotes the President Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador from a television statement.
According to experts, Chinese President Xi Jinping is very adamant about bringing Taiwan under Chinese control during his lifetime. He reportedly wants to claim the title of the man who unified China. And this is only possible if Taiwan is merged with China, something that the Taiwanese, in the present situation, abhor.
The South China Morning Post says in their article: “President Xi Jinping wanted to inflict maximum political cost on the independence-leaning government in Taiwan under President Tsai Ing-wen by suffocating the self-ruling island’s international space through aggressive diplomacy.”
China’s strategy to isolate Taiwan
El Salvador is just another among a host of nations that has been lured by China into turning anti-Taiwan. In June last year, Panama officially severed its relationship with Taiwan on the promise of Chinese financial assistance.
And just a few months ago, China and Panama held a joint meeting to set up a free-trade agreement that would bring big financial gains for the Central American country. Given that China uses the Panama Canal the most after the United States, it should come as no surprise that Panama chose to side with China.
Another country that has recognized the authority of China and cut off ties with Taiwan is the Dominican Republic. This time too, it is the prospect of Chinese investments and trade that made the country turn against Taiwan.
Trade between the two countries is estimated at around US$2 billion, which makes the Dominican Republic the second biggest trading partner of China in Central America and the Caribbean. The tiny country is also looking to utilize their new relationship with China to project itself as a tourist destination and attract Chinese visitors to boost its local economy.
Though China’s strategy to completely isolate Taiwan from the international community might look like a workable plan, some experts say that this could push Taiwan into aggressively asserting its independence.
“Taiwan going to zero allies is not in Beijing’s interest. Those diplomatic allies recognized Taiwan as the ‘Republic of China,’ which is better from Beijing’s perspective than a move to recognize Taiwan as the ‘Republic of Taiwan,’” Bloomberg quotes Julian Ku, a constitutional law professor at the Hofstra University.
Despite losing the support of many countries over the past year, Taiwan luckily has the full support of the United States. Since the U.S. itself is a democratic country, Taiwan is a natural ally to the United States. And with America looking at China as a big competitor, Taiwan can be confident that it will always have the backing of the biggest superpower in the world to maintain its democracy and freedom.