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Panama to set up official ties with China, ditching Taiwan

2017/06/13 09:29:38

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Panama, one of Taiwan's allies in Central America, announced Tuesday that it has decided to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, effectively cutting off official ties that it has had with the Republic of China (now more commonly known as Taiwan) for more than a century.

The announcement was made by President Juan Carlos Varela on Monday evening in the Western Hemisphere.

Panama's decision leaves Taiwan with only 20 diplomatic allies in the world, 11 of them being in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It came at a time when China has apparently stepped up its efforts to isolate Taiwan internationally since the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party came to power in May 2016.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold a press conference later Tuesday morning on the latest development.

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