Tuesday 15 June 2021

The Dominican Republic Switches Allegiance from Taiwan to China; Global Chess Game Continues

The courting of the Dominican Republic is seen as yet another geopolitical power play on the part of China in Latin America.

The Dominican Republic government broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan and switch allegiances to China, in a move that highlights the growing economic and geopolitical power of China across the globe.

Just last year Panama did the same, accelerating a growing trend in Latin America as China competes with the United States for power, trade relations, and influence.

Taiwan’s President receiving in 2017 the “Vice-President of the Republic of Honduras Avarez Visiting Mission” and hopes that through practical cooperation, the two countries can maximize the effectiveness of the “Taihong Free Trade Agreement” and help the two countries win a mutual benefit in the economic and trade fields.Photo credit: presidential office on Best Running / CC BY

- Advertisement -

Nonetheless, Latin America is a region where Taiwan still maintains diplomatic relations with a considerable number of countries; relationships it has assiduously cultivated. Its list of allies includes Belize, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras and Saint Lucia.

Taiwan was ‘deeply upset’ and ‘disappointed’ by the move, with the Taiwan ministry alleging that “Beijing’s crude attempts at foreign policy can only drive a wedge between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, erode mutual trust, and antagonize the people of Taiwan.”

The Dominican Republic government, however, announced that it was not a reflection of any problems in the relationship with Taiwan, but a reflection of current economic realities.

Top presidential legal adviser Flavio Dario Espinal thanked the Taiwanese government in a press conference, but noted that “history and the socioeconomic reality force us now to change direction.”

- Advertisement -

The move undoubtedly is also a reflection of the largesse that enables China’s roaring economic giant to use its financial clout to win allies throughout the world. The Chinese government reportedly gave USD $3 billion to the Caribbean nation, and is increasingly concerned by the efforts of some US lawmakers, particularly Republicans, to strengthen US-Taiwanese ties.

Despite sharp ideological differences and a robust geopolitical rivalry, the US has maintained formal ties with Beijing since 1979 under the Carter administration, simultaneously breaking relations with Taiwan. That has rubbed some conservatives the wrong way.

Signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 16, 2018, the Taiwan Travel Act is a sign of increasing strain between Beijing and Washington. It allows high-level diplomatic meetings on the soil of both nations and encourages economic and cultural exchange.

The Chinese government has expressed grave concerns over the bill, which was sponsored by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and has accused it of violating China’s Anti-secession act. The Chinese government is intransigent in its perspective that Taiwan is an integral part of China, and has steadfastly refused to recognize the Taipei government, which has ruled the island since 1949, when top Chinese nationalist leaders, defeated by Mao Zedong’s Communist forces, fled across the narrow straight.

While certain political forces are eager to thumb their nose at the Chinese government by strengthening the US-Taiwan relationship, China is also eager to aggressively assert itself in the United States’ traditional sphere of influence. To that end, the Communist government has cultivated economic and geopolitical ties both with ideological allies, such as Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba, and with non-ideological allies such as Peru, Colombia, and Chile, with an eye to international trade and economic relationships.

China has invested particularly heavily in Ecuador and Venezuela but also plays a large role in Colombia, where it represents the Andean nation’s second largest trading partner. China has had a hand in infrastructure, development, and investment in the Andean region, which the United States views with growing unease.

- Advertisement -

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, for example, has argued that “Latin America does not need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people. China’s state-led model of development is reminiscent of the past.”

This assertion, of course, will be viewed skeptically by those who have long criticized US foreign policy in Latin America. Nut the significant new role of China in the region is scrutinized by political actors on both the left and the right, for concerns ranging from environmental degradation to human rights concerns to trade issues.

China’s ambitions in the region are nothing short of astounding. It is already the largest trading partner of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. In addition to USD $500 billion in projected trade between 2015 and 2019, it also has plans for a further USD $250 billion in foreign direct investment. For nations that struggle to access international credit markets, a partnership with China offers an attractive alternative, particularly given the reputation for speed that the Chinese have in constructing major projects like ports, highways, and railways.

Thus, the United States can use its mouthpieces to object to Chinese machinations in the region, but China is a major new player in Latin America. Which, by all appearances, is unlikely to change any time soon.

Source: Panampost.com

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Which countries could follow El Salvador by making it legal tender?

Q24N - El Salvador may be the first country to adopt...

Peru revises pandemic death toll, now worst in the world per capita

Q24N (Reuters) Peru on Monday almost tripled its official COVID-19 death...

MOST READ

Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister absent from the summit of Central American presidents

QCOSTARICA - The Daniel Ortega government sent its ambassador to Costa Rica, Duilio Hernández, as its representative to the summit of Central American presidents...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 11, “EVENS”

Today, Friday, June 11, only EVENS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...

Diseases, weather and low prices hit the orange sector in Costa Rica

HQ - The appearance of pests and diseases, in particular the 'dragón amarillo' (yellow dragon), the impact of the weather and a sharp drop...

El Salvador Makes Bitcoin Legal Tender, A World First

Q24N (Reuters) El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender after Congress approved President Nayib Bukele's...

The U.S. and Democracy in Nicaragua

Q REPORTS (Council on Foreign Affairs) Democracy is being destroyed in Nicaragua. This has been the long-term project of Daniel Ortega, the country’s dictator,...

Today’s Covid News: A slight drop in new cases and deaths is seen

QCOSTARICA - Faced with wasting a vaccine dose when people in the priority groups scheduled do not show up, and a substitute cannot be...

COVID vaccines in the workplace: Can I ask who got their shots?

(DW) Jon works for the local government in the US state of Virginia. The 40-year-old received both his COVID shots in April. Most of...

Today’s Covid News: Restrictions allowed a decrease in Covid-19 and prevented hospital collapse

QCOSTARICA - A moderate decline in new cases for the third consecutive week allowed the hospital system to avoid the dreaded collapse and rapid...

Should the vaccination against covid-19 be opened?

QCOSTARICA - Six months after the start of vaccination against covid-19, will it be time to open the campaign to those who want to...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.