BEIJING, Dec. 22 (ChinaMil) -- The government of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe issued a statement December 20, local time to sever the diplomatic relation with Taiwan and recognize the sovereignty of the People's Republic of China.
It was the first country to sever "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan after Tsai Ing-wen came into power and this was the first "event" in "Taiwan's diplomacy" after the "Tsai-Trump Call".
Beijing expressed its appreciation of Sao Tome and Principe's move at first opportunity and stressed the universality of the one China principle, but it didn't say much else, especially the role played by Chinese mainland in the severance of the diplomatic ties.
But it was not by accident that the "severance" occurred now. It is obviously a slap in Tsai Ing-wen's face for refusing to admit the "1992 Consensus" and even having the Tsai-Trump Call in order to shake the One-China principle. This was also a response to the US president-elect Donald Trump who uttered the wrong message about the One-China principle.
The Taiwan authorities attributed the "severance of diplomatic ties" by the Sao Tome and Principe government to its failed attempt to demand an "enormous amount of assistance" in hopes of diverting the public attention to economic reasons and downplay the political ones, thus exonerating Tsai Ing-wen for her wrong route.
Taiwan media claimed Sao Tome and Principe demanded $210 million in financial aid, but the fact is that most of Taiwan's "diplomatic allies" are small and poor, and Taiwan has been maintaining the "diplomatic relation" with them by providing financial aid.
With Sao Tome and Principe gone, Taiwan now has only 21 "diplomatic allies", but Sao Tome and Principe's change of heart may be just a beginning. The Taiwan media are worried that a new "wave of severance of diplomatic relations" is coming, and they have every reason to worry.
Taiwan experienced a "wave of severance of diplomatic ties" in the last century after the People's Republic of China was founded, China resumed its legal position in the UN and the US formed diplomatic relations with China.
During the reign of Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian from the end of last century to the first eight years of this century, the number of Taiwan's "diplomatic allies" kept reducing, and Taiwan only maintained the number during Ma Ying-jeou's eight-year reign because he admitted the One-China principle and the Chinese mainland cut Taiwan some slack.
Tsai Ing-wen took a desperate move in denying the "1992 Consensus" when Taiwan fell farther behind the Chinese mainland in every way. Today its GDP is less than one twentieth of the mainland's, and it is unable to enter into a diplomatic competition against the mainland. The Democratic Progressive Party's "flexible Taiwan independence" strategy means a "diplomatic suicide" for Taiwan. It wants to prove Taiwan as a "sovereign nation", but the world is abandoning it and Taiwan's "sovereignty" is becoming a laughing stick.
Trump called Tsai Ing-wen the "president of Taiwan", but that won't change the fact that the international community is upholding the One-China principle, a fact so firm and beyond question that not even Trump is able to change it. In fact Trump didn't really want to break this principle. He just wanted to use it as a bargaining chip and Taiwan as a chess piece to negotiate with the Chinese mainland about economic interests.
It's foreseeable that if Taiwan doesn't change its tune, more "diplomatic allies" will leave it for Beijing. The world is changing, the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Beijing is well aligned with the development needs of third-world countries, and forging comprehensive relationship with the Chinese mainland is far more attractive than the short-term economic assistance from Taiwan. As long as the mainland opens its arms, Taiwan won't be able to keep those countries with small favors.
If the Democratic Progressive Party continues to push "Taiwan independence", Taiwan's "diplomacy" will enter an impasse in the end and no country will be in "diplomatic relation" with it. "Taiwan independence" is a self-deceiving dream and an insult imposed by the Taiwan authority on its society.
It must be pointed out that Beijing's reunification of Taiwan is already on the way. When the mainland was weak, Taiwan, based on its strength then, feigned to be a "nation" in the international community, but with the rapid and robust rise of Chinese mainland, it has forced Taiwan to a marginalized position. The mainland and Taiwan have long become one entity in the eyes of the world. Taiwan will find peace with itself if it can see and accept this fact as early as possible.
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