Panama breaks diplomatic relations with ROC

Taiwan’s foreign ministry today announced that it has terminated diplomatic relations with the Republic of Panama, after the Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela announced the decision to recognize the People’s Republic of China in a televised address. Panamanian vice-president and foreign minister and Chinese foreign minister formalized the relationship in Beijing shortly before the address.

Panama first established diplomatic relationships with the Qing Empire in 1910. The Republic of China, established in 1912, continued the relationship after replacing the Qing Empire, and the two countries have maintained the tie for 107 years, even after the ROC government retreated to Taiwan in 1949. Panama was the country that had the longest unbroken diplomatic tie with the Republic of China, until today. President Tsai Ing-wen visited Panama in her first state visit abroad last year.

The Presidential Office released a statement criticizing China for reducing Taiwan’s international space, while President Tsai addressed the country on television lashing out at Beijing and calling for unity in Taiwan.

Removing São Tomé and Príncipe and Panama, Taiwan is now left with 20 diplomatic allies in the world.

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