The foreign minister, Joseph Wu, has announced that Taiwan has broken off diplomatic ties with El Salvador.
Wu said Tuesday that the government had been aware since June that the Central American nation intended to establish formal ties with Beijing. Taiwan sent a special envoy to El Salvador and Wu himself met with officials including the country’s president during a trip to Central America in July.
However, Wu said Taiwan would not accept repeated requests to provide large sums for a harbor development project. Wu also said Taiwan rejected a request for money from the country’s ruling party ahead of a February election.
Wu said Taipei reached the decision to cut ties before San Salvador establishes ties with Beijing. The decision leaves Taiwan with 17 diplomatic allies.
Wu condemned Beijing’s policies of checkbook diplomacy and of limiting Taiwan’s international presence. He said repression will only strengthen Taiwan’s commitment to freedom and democracy.