China’s increasing engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean is part of a tactic to diplomatically isolate Taiwan, a report released on Wednesday by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said.
The report, titled China’s Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean, said that Beijing has ramped up its efforts to bolster diplomatic, political and security cooperation in the regions.
In addition to safeguarding its own economic interests, such as gaining access to the region’s abundant natural resources and consumer markets, China’s efforts include attempts to reduce the US’ influence, the report said.
Such efforts have also been aimed at Taiwan, as part of China’s strategy to convince Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay to cut diplomatic ties with Taipei and officially endorse Beijing’s “one China” principle, it said.
Over the past year, China has resumed its “checkbook diplomacy” and secured recognition from Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, former diplomatic allies of Taiwan in the region, the report said.
In 2008, Taiwan and China reached a “diplomatic truce,” agreeing to stop using financial incentives to compete for recognition by each other’s diplomatic partners, and from 2008 to 2016 China adhered to the pact and rejected attempts by countries to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing, the report said.
However, that truce has ended, as “China is renewing its efforts to diplomatically isolate Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province,” it said.
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