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U.S. congressmen back Taiwan after loss of Burkina Faso

2018/05/25 16:22:15

CNA file photo

Washington, May 24 (CNA) Multiple U.S. congressmen took to social media on Thursday to express their concern and support for Taiwan after it lost another diplomatic ally, most likely because of China's influence.

Burkina Faso announced it was severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan earlier Thursday, with the African country citing "the interests of Burkina Faso and its people in the concert of nations" as the reasons for its decision, according to a Reuters report.

Most local and foreign government officials and media outlets are blaming Beijing for this blow, even though there has been no official statement of formalized diplomatic relations between China and Burkina Faso.

Congressmen Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Ted Yoho (R-FL) both wrote in their posts that the U.S. will stand with Taiwan in the face of Beijing's pressure.

Gosar highlighted Taiwan's virtues, calling it "a strategic military and trade ally and a beacon in Asia," and pledged to stand behind Taiwan and "its right to diplomatic relations."

With a message of support for Taiwan, Yoho also used his post to call out China for what he called its "two-faced aggression."

He wrote that China's foreign minister previously said "the U.S. and China 'should properly handle Taiwan,'" yet it continues to destabilize the Taiwan Strait with provocations such as the blocking of Taiwan from this year's World Health Assembly meeting and the poaching two of its allies in less than a month.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), meanwhile, called it "regrettable Burkina Faso folded to China's coercion and cut ties with Taiwan," but warned that Beijing's offers would come with strings attached as it always puts its own authoritarian interests first.

As if to sum up the general sentiment, U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) used the committee's Twitter handle to write: "very concerned by concerted pressure campaign Taiwan is facing, including its exclusion from WHO."

In response to the outpouring of support, Taiwan's representative office in the U.S. issued a statement expressing its thanks to the U.S. Congress for its longtime, firm support of the Taiwan-U.S. friendship.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Kuan-lin Liu)
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