China on Saturday stepped up its pressure on Taiwan by urging Taipei’s sole remaining African ally, Eswatini, to align with Beijing, Burkina Faso re-established ties with Beijing.
Burkina Faso on Thursday announced that it was severing ties with Taiwan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a similar announcement in Taipei.
It was the second nation in a month to abandon Taipei, following the Dominican Republic, and the fourth since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office.
Speaking to reporters in Beijing after signing an agreement to re-establish relations with Burkina Faso, Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi (王毅) said only one African state had yet to come over to China.
“We sincerely hope that this country will join the family of China-Africa friendship at an early date,” Wang said, with Burkinabe Foreign Minister Alpha Barry at his side.
He was confident that all of Africa would stand by China’s side “in the historic cause of China’s full national reunification,” he said.
Taiwan has accused China of using dollar diplomacy to lure away its allies, promising generous aid packages, charges China has denied. Some nations have switched back and forth between Beijing and Taipei several times.
This is the second time Burkina has cut ties with Taiwan. It did so in 1973, before resuming relations with Taipei in 1994.
Barry said a delegation of Chinese experts would visit his nation in the coming days to assess its needs for development assistance, hopefully in time for an agreement by September when Burkinabe President Roch Marc Kabore would be in Beijing for a summit of Chinese and African leaders.
“Burkina Faso intends to fully benefit from the strength and expertise of this country, seeking its support on many social and economic development projects in our own country,” Barry said.
China is Africa’s largest trade partner, with massive investments in mining, construction and banking, though it has been less active to date in Burkina Faso.
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