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U.S. to review relations with El Salvador

2018/08/24 15:34

Washington, Aug. 23 (CNA) The United States said Wednesday it was gravely concerned about El Salvador's decision the previous day to shift diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, and as a result will reexamine its relations with the Central American country.

In a statement, the U.S. White House said it was a decision that would affect not just El Salvador, but also the economic health and security of the entire Americas region.

"The El Salvadoran government's receptiveness to China's apparent interference in the domestic politics of a Western Hemisphere country is of grave concern to the United States, and will result in a reevaluation of our relationship with El Salvador," the White House said.

It said the leaders of El Salvador's governing party made the decision, which will have implications for decades to come, in a non-transparent manner only months before they leave office.

"Countries seeking to establish or expand relations with China in order to attract state-directed investment that will stimulate short-term economic growth and infrastructure development may be disappointed over the long run," the White House warned.

Governments are waking up to the fact that China's economic inducements are meant to facilitate economic dependency and domination, not partnership, according to the U.S. statement.

"The United States will continue to oppose China's destabilization of the cross-Strait relationship and political interference in the Western Hemisphere," the White House said.

El Salvador broke off its 85-year diplomatic ties with Taiwan Tuesday in favor of establishing formal relations with China.

It was the third country to switch sides this year, leaving Taiwan with only 17 diplomatic allies in a diplomatic tug-of-war with China, which has intensified since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016.

Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said El Salvador made the decision to shift recognition to China after Taiwan refused to fund a port development project in the South American country.

(By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang) Enditem/pc