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.
As we now enter the very uncertain period in Sino-American-Taiwanese relations, I found these two gems of interview of American officials from the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, detailing the moments when ROC was first notified of the de-recognition in 1979, as well as how the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto American embassy in Taiwan, came about. They are a bit long, but both are fascinating reads.
The U.S. De-recognizes Taiwan in Favor of Communist China — January 1, 1979, interview of Neal Donnelly, then Public Affairs Officer in Taiwan.
A cable came in late at night, I’m not sure if it was 9:30 or 10:00 at night — something like that — saying that Carter was going to announce the normalization of China and the de-recognition of Taiwan. Mark immediately got a hold of Unger at the Christmas party at I think about 11:00 pm and then Unger started the wheels in motion to contact Chiang Ching-kuo who was the President of the country.
Now you don’t just go to the President of the country’s house and ring the bell and talk to him, so it took a while to go through the several people that they had to and then they got Chiang Ching-kuo at, I think, slightly after two o’clock in the morning. Unger told him that we were de-recognizing Taiwan.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry today announced that it has terminated diplomatic relations with the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, after the west African island nation severed relations earlier today. São Tomé and Príncipe reportedly demanded an incredibly high financial aid package, and decided to switch its recognition to Beijing after being turned down by Taipei.
São Tomé and Príncipe first established diplomatic relations with Taiwan in May 1997, when then-president Miguel Trovoada ended his country’s relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and recognized the ROC (Taiwan) instead. PRC established a trade mission in São Tomé in 2013, and bilateral trade has increased significantly since then. The current prime minister of São Tomé and Príncipe, Patrice Émery Trovoada, is the son of Miguel Trovoada.
Taiwan is now left with 21 diplomatic allies in the world.