Taiwan and Burkina Faso have broken off diplomatic ties. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has told President Tsai Ing-wen that he will resign to take responsibility.
The split comes as the West African nation moves to establish ties with China. Beijing only forms relations with countries that recognize its “one China” principle and breaks off their ties with Taiwan. Burkina Faso’s decision brings the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies down to 18. Taiwan now has only one diplomatic ally in Africa - Swaziland.
President Tsai said that China's oppression of Taiwan on the international stage will only drive Taiwan to strengthen its partnership and ties with many countries. Tsai said China's moves are not helpful for cross strait relations and will hurt China's global image.
Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry said in a statement that “this decision is guided by the firm desire of the government of Burkina Faso to defend the interests of Burkina Faso and its people in the concert of nations.” China is Africa's largest trade partner and has major investments in the continent.
Taiwan's foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said Taiwan is cutting all bilateral cooperation and withdrawing the staff at its embassy in Burkina Faso to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity. Wu also said he was angry and disappointed at China’s luring Taiwan’s allies and isolating Taiwan in the international community. He said Taiwan will not bow to pressure from Beijing, nor will Taiwan engage in “dollar diplomacy.”
Three other former allies have cut relations with Taiwan in the past two years. They are Sao Tome and Principe, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic severed ties with Taiwan less than a month ago. Foreign Minister Wu said he has already verbally told President Tsai Ing-wen that he will resign to take responsibility.