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May 25, 2017

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Sao Tome Breaks Ties with Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Republic of China on Wednesday announced an end to diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe, hours after the African country made the same announcement.

Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lee (李大維) said Taipei cut ties after the former ally requested an "astronomical amount" in financial aid.

The government of Sao Tome and Principe on Tuesday announced its split with the R.O.C., with which it had shared diplomatic relations since 1997.

In a statement released shortly afterward, China's Foreign Ministry said it welcomed Sao Tome back to the correct path of the "one China" principle.

The ministry did not state explicitly whether Beijing had established formal ties with Sao Tome and Principe.

In an emergency press conference Wednesday morning, Taiwan's foreign minister condemned the African country's "abrupt and unfriendly decision" after a 20-year relationship.

"In order to uphold our national dignity, we have decided to terminate our relations with Sao Tome and to close its embassy, recall technical personnel and end all bilateral cooperation projects," he said.

Lee said the main reason Sao Tome split with Taiwan was the latter's refusal to provide an "astronomical amount" in financial assistance.

"We have always done our best to aid the development of our allies to the extent that we are able to, but we cannot meet Sao Tome's latest request," he said.

Lee did not disclose the amount of aid requested, but a source close to the matter said Sao Tome had asked for US$210 million.

Sao Tome is the first country to sever ties with Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen assumed office in May, leaving Taiwan with just 21 allies.

December 21, 2016    islehopper@
Regardless of one's position on The ROC, it's always sad to see the loss of a diplomatic ally. But is not the correct phrasing "Sao Tome is the first country to sever ties with "The ROC"... leaving "The ROC" with just 21 remaining allies."? Seems this author is just as confused by The ROC vs. Taiwan name game as the rest of the free world. I hope to one day see only the name Taiwan used by both our diplomatic allies and our friends, and for China to finally take a pro-Confucian style of treating it's neighbor of 23 million Taiwanese. God bless everyone.
December 21, 2016    boswang007@
Sao Tome and Principe who really gives a damn about these two "countries"?
Tell them to repay ALL of the money Taiwan has pumped into their puppet kingdoms and begone with them.
January 12, 2017    Cezary, (cezary@
Its better not to have "friends" like Sao Tome. Taiwan must change the name to Taiwan (not ROC) and apply for UN place as Taiwan, representing Taiwan. It no longer can claim representing China
January 22, 2017    julianclegg@
Reference: [PRC] Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 21, 2016
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