China, Dominican Republic cement ties

By Deng Xiaoci and Bai Yunyi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/1 21:28:40

Dominican Republic latest to break ‘ties’ with Taiwan

Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas (left) shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a signing ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday. The Dominican Republic on Tuesday established diplomatic relations with China. Photo: AFP

China and the Dominican Republic signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic ties on Tuesday in Beijing, after the Caribbean nation, which had been Taiwan's largest "diplomatic ally," ended "diplomatic relations" with the island.

The Dominican Republic government's decision was hailed by Chinese observers on Tuesday, as it makes manifest the Dominican Republic leaders' vision that takes into consideration the country's long-term socioeconomic growth and the interests of its people, as the one-China policy is recognized by the overwhelming majority of countries.

"It is an obvious decision for the Dominican Republic leaders to make and it favors the people of the Dominican Republic and its development. It can now participate in the Belt and Road initiative, Beijing's global development initiative rather than the petty favors offered by Taiwan," Liu Yuqin, a former Chinese ambassador to Ecuador, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Presidential adviser Flavio Dario Espinal told reporters at a press conference that his country is convinced bilateral relations with China will have a positive impact on the future of the Caribbean nation, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

The Dominican's political and economic sectors were fully consulted before the government made the decision which was mainly based on the "needs, potential and future outlook" of the Dominican people, he said.

China is the Caribbean country's second largest supplier of imported products, with bilateral trade volume amounting to around $2 billion.

The Dominican Republic is China's second largest trade partner in the Caribbean and Central American region, and the growth potential between the two countries is immense, said Xinhua.

Liu believes establishing diplomatic ties will benefit people of both countries, bringing cooperation to a higher and deeper level.

Rosa Ng Báez, head of the Office of Commercial Development of the Dominican Republic in China, told the Global Times on Tuesday that a new "embassy" sign will soon be issued in replacement of the current "office" one, and the Dominican Republican national flag has been raised at the iconic Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

The new embassy will vigorously promote bilateral cooperation in investment and tourism, Rosa Ng Báez said, adding that the Dominican Republic hopes more Chinese companies will invest in the country under the framework of the Belt and Road initiative, and the two nations will build stronger air links to encourage Chinese citizens to visit and work in the Caribbean nation.

Additional talks will be held Wednesday between the visiting Dominican Republic official, Jose Ramon Peralta, the Administrative Minister of the Presidency, and Chinese officials to discuss cooperation in various fields, Ng Báez noted.

One China

In Tuesday's joint communiqué, the Dominican Republic government announced that it "severs 'diplomatic relations' with Taiwan as of this day," while honoring that "there is but one China in the world and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory."

The island of Taiwan is now left with only 19 "diplomatic allies" around the world, which are mostly developing countries in the Caribbean and Pacific, and according to the CNN on Tuesday. The Dominican Republic was the largest of that group.

Given the Chinese mainland's increasingly robust international status and global influence, it is evident Taiwan is rapidly losing sway around the world, Liu said.

Liu also dismissed rumors that the Dominican Republic ended its ties with Taiwan to win Beijing's approval for it to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, noting that "it is a decision made according to the larger overall situation, and it is good for its people in the longer term."

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Tuesday met Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas in Beijing. Wang conveyed Chinese President Xi Jinping's greetings to Dominican President Danilo Medina, and extended congratulations on the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Wang said that while recognizing and upholding the one-China principle, the Dominican government has made a political decision to sever "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and forge diplomatic ties with China, which conforms to the trend of the times and is in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and two peoples.


Newspaper headline: China forges new relations

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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