“It yielded to Beijing because of economic benefits, did a diplomatic turn in a very unfriendly way and deceived the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) until the last minute,” David Lee, Taiwan’s foreign minister said.
He said Taiwan was also cutting its diplomatic ties with Panama to “safeguard” the “nation’s sovereignty and dignity.”
China views Taiwan as an integral part of its territory that is to be taken by force if necessary. Beijing has missiles pointed at the island.
China and Taiwan — officially the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China — separated in 1949 following the Communist victory on the mainland after a civil war.
The two sides have been governed separately since, though a shared cultural and linguistic heritage mostly endures — with Mandarin spoken as the official language in both places.
In 1971, Taiwan — officially the Republic of China (ROC) — was forced to withdraw from the United Nations after the General Assembly passed a motion recognizing the People’s Republic of China as the only lawful representative of China to the UN.
Many other countries followed suit, including the United States, which switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC in 1979 but has maintained unofficial ties with Taiwan, an important ally in the region.