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China's engagement in Latin America aimed at isolating Taiwan: report

ROC Central News Agency

2018/10/18 20:19:40

Washington, Oct. 18 (CNA) A report released Wednesday by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) suggests that China's increasing engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is part of a tactic to diplomatically isolate Taiwan.

The report, titled "China's Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean," describes how the country has ramped up its efforts in recent years to strengthen diplomatic, political and security cooperation with the region.

In addition to securing its own economic interests, such as gaining access to the region's abundant natural resources and consumer markets, China's efforts in the region include attempts to reduce the influence of the United States, the report said.

According to the USCC report, such efforts have also been aimed at Taiwan, as part of China's strategy to convince the nine LAC countries -- Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay -- to cut diplomatic ties with Taipei and officially endorse Beijing's "one China principle."

It went on to describe how China has, in the last year, resumed its "checkbook diplomacy" and secured recognition from Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the region, Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.

In 2008, China and Taiwan reached a "diplomatic truce" to stop using financial incentives to compete for recognition from each other's diplomatic partners, and from 2008-2016 China adhered to the truce and rejected attempts by countries to switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing, the report said.

However, that truce has ended, as "China is renewing its efforts to diplomatically isolate Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province," the report added.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Ko Lin)

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