Taiwan Loses Panama to China

Panama’s Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands as they exchange documents after signing a joint communiqué on establishing diplomatic relations, in Beijing on June 13, 2017. GREG BAKER/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

The island just got lonelier.

Taiwan has lost one of its precious few allies. Panama cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan on Tuesday. The Panamanian government said there was “only one China” and Taiwan is part of it. This is another blow to the independence of a small island nation trying to keep free from the Communist control of China.

 

China is the second biggest user of the Panama Canal. Since 1997, the Trumpet has tracked and reported how Chinese companies have gained control of the majority of the ports and loading bays of the Panama Canal, the latest of which was bought in June of last year. Chinese investment in the Central American nation is growing as Chinese companies are developing the purchased ports in Panama and developing the land around the Panama Canal.

Taiwan has no chance of matching the investment, so there’s no stopping the diplomatic loss. Now there are only 20 countries that extend Taiwan diplomatic recognition. China has nearly cut Taiwan out of international society completely.

The list is dominated by small Caribbean islands and a non-influential Latin American allies. Taiwan’s only European diplomatic partner is the Vatican, but if China and the Catholic Church ever resolve their disagreement on the right to appoint bishops, it doesn’t look like that would hold.

Taiwan has steadily lost diplomatic allies since the United Nations switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing’s People’s Republic of China in 1971. Few nations want to anger an economic giant.

Isolated Taiwan is getting lonelier.

Since 1998, the Trumpet has forecast that Taiwan will lose what independence it has, and Taiwan’s loss of Panama as a diplomatic ally is one more step toward that result. Taiwan’s situation is only going to get worse now that China has gained strategic control of the South China Sea and the U.S. continues to be an unreliable ally.

Full article: Taiwan Loses Panama to China (The Trumpet)

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