Burkina Faso yesterday severed ties with Taiwan, the second diplomatic ally to do so within a month, prompting Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) to tender his resignation.
However, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) did not sign off on Wu’s resignation, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) told the Taipei Times last night.
Speaking at an impromptu news conference in Taipei yesterday evening, Wu said that although Burkina Faso has yet to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing, it goes without saying that “China is the sole factor” in the African nation’s decision.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
“This is the second nation in a month, after the Dominican Republic, to have made such a move. I share the public’s sadness, anger and regret over these incidents,” said Wu, who only took over the helm of the ministry in February.
China’s repeated attempts to poach Taiwan’s diplomatic allies and suppress its presence in the international arena would not narrow the gap across the Taiwan Strait — it would only further anger Taiwanese, Wu said.
“I would like to again quote President Tsai’s oft-stated pledge that we will never succumb to Beijing’s pressure,” Wu said, adding that China’s actions, both diplomatically and militarily, constitute a unilateral change of the cross-strait “status quo.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs first noticed warning signs regarding Burkina Faso prior to Tsai’s state visit to Africa last month, when Burkinabe President Roch Kabore prioritized an international gathering over meeting with Tsai, Wu said.
Media speculation in Burkina Faso regarding the establishment of diplomatic relations with Beijing were another sign, Wu said.
The ministry became more concerned after Burkina Faso became the nation’s only ally to not publicly speak up for Taiwan’s World Health Assembly (WHA) bid, Wu said.
A high-level government official previously said on condition of anonymity that China had written to all of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies warning them against speaking for Taiwan at this year’s WHA.
The Republic of China established diplomatic relations with Burkina Faso in 1961, but Ouagadougou switched recognition to the People’s Republic of China in 1973. Taiwan and Burkina Faso resumed ties in 1994.
Burkinabe Minister of Foreign Affairs Alpha Barry in February last year had told reporters that his nation had rejected a Beijing offer of US$50 billion and had no plans to switch allegiances.
Taiwan has lost three other diplomatic allies to China since Tsai’s inauguration: Sao Tome and Principe in December 2016, Panama in June last year and the Dominican Republic on April 30.
Regarding Taiwan’s relations with its sole remaining African ally, Eswatini, Wu said that he has “huge confidence” in the stability of their ties.
“President Tsai visited Eswatini just last month and she has maintained a good relationship with Swazi King Mswati III,” Wu said. “The king is also scheduled to visit Taiwan next month to attend his son’s graduation ceremony.”
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of