Panama breaks diplomatic ties with self-ruled Taiwan in favor of establishing formal relations with Beijing, in what is viewed as a diplomatic victory for China which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province.
The Panama City government said in a statement on Tuesday that it recognized there is only one China, and that Taiwan is part of the Asian giant.
“The Panamanian government is today breaking its diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and pledges to end all relations or official contact with Taiwan,” the statement added.
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela also said in a televised address that “Panama and China establish diplomatic relations today.”
“We strongly condemn Beijing for manipulating the so-called ‘one China’ policy to continue to suppress Taiwan’s international space through various means,” the presidential office said Tuesday. Diplomatic disputes between Taiwan and mainland China had eased under the island’s previous Beijing-friendly government.
But ties between the two sides have been especially fraught since Tsai Ing-wen, of Taiwan’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, rose to power in the island following a presidential election in 2016.
Taiwan’s China-sceptic leader has refused the concept that the island is part of ‘one China.—Agencies