Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Taiwan is cutting diplomatic ties with Burkina Faso after the African country announced an end to its ties with the Republic of China (ROC), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced Thursday.
Taiwan will also halt all bilateral cooperative projects, cut all assistance to Burkina Faso, and pull out its diplomatic staff and technical missions from the country which has maintained ties with the ROC for 24 years, Wu said.
Burkina Faso established diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1994, under then-president Blaise Compaoré, who was ousted from office in a coup d'etat in 2014.
In a statement issued earlier in the day, the African country's foreign ministry indicated that the decision to cut ties with Taiwan was made based on the government's firm desire to "defend the interests of Burkina Faso and its people in the concert of nations."
However, the statement did not mention a switch to Beijing.
The severing of ties on Thursday leaves Taiwan with only 18 diplomatic allies, after it announced the severing of ties with the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic on May 1.
The Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland) is currently the only African nation that has diplomatic ties with the ROC, after Malawi and The Gambia switched recognition to Beijing in 2008 and 2013, respectively.
According to the Bureau of Foreign Trade, bilateral trade between the two countries accounted for US$8.23 million in 2015, a 30 percent drop from US$12.17 million in 2013.