El Salvador cuts ties with Taiwan, recognizes China

El Salvador cuts ties with Taiwan, recognizes China
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El Salvador Tuesday announced it would cut relations with Taiwan and officially recognize the People's Republic of China, The Associated Press reported.

Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén announced the move on state-run TV and radio.

"After this careful analysis, I announce that my government has taken the decision to break diplomatic relations maintained until this day between the Republic of El Salvador and Taiwan, and to establish diplomatic relations between the Republic of El Salvador and the People's Republic of China," said Cerén, according to Mexico's Reforma newspaper.

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Jean Manes, the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, tweeted in Spanish Tuesday that the U.S. is "analyzing" the Salvadoran decision.

"It's worrying for many reasons, among which is included breaking a more than 80-year-old relationship with #Taiwan. No doubt, this will impact our relationship with the government. We continue to support the Salvadoran people," tweeted Manes.

 

Taiwan, formally known as the Republic of China, is now only recognized by 17 nations around the world, mostly smaller countries in Latin America, Africa and the South Pacific.

China's influence in Latin America and the Caribbean has been growing, as the Communist nation has made large investments and strengthened diplomatic relations in the region.

“History will prove that establishing diplomatic relations with China is in full accordance with the fundamental and long-term interests of the country and the people of El Salvador,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, however, accused China of buying political support in El Salvador by investing in port infrastructure that Taiwanese officials deemed unfeasible.

Wu said China's investments in the region risked creating unsustainable debt burdens for El Salvador.

“It is irresponsible to engage in financial aid diplomacy or compete with China in cash, or even in providing illegal political money,” Wu said, according to the AP. “My government is unwilling to and cannot do so.”

The Northern Triangle countries — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have become central to U.S. policy in Central America.

The Northern Triangle has accounted for much of the growth in economic and asylum-related migration to the United States over the past decade. El Salvador is host to criminal gangs such as MS-13, which has become a focal point in the Trump administration's immigration policy.