Beijing, Aug 21: El Salvador on Tuesday became the latest country to cut ties with Taiwan and establish diplomatic relations with China, acceding that the self-ruled island is not a country. El Salvador is the third country in a few months to sever ties with Taiwan, a self-ruled island which China considers a breakaway province and has vowed to reunite with the mainland one day. Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Salvadorean Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda signed a joint communique in Beijing establishing diplomatic relations. The communique said that the El Salvador government severs "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes not to have any more official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan. With this, the number of countries recognizing Taiwan as a country has come down to 17.
"The El Salvador government has recognized and promised to abide by one-China principle. It severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with People's Republic of China," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a press conference. "This is a right choice that corresponds with the trend of times and the will of people. China highly appreciates this."
Taiwan has been a self-ruled island since 1949 where the Nationalists fled after being defeated by the Communists in the civil war in China. The ties between Taipei and Beijing soured after the island elected Tsai-Ing wen as its President in 2016. Tsai, the leader of a pro-independence party, has never acknowledged that Taiwan is a part of China, keeping Beijing on edge. However, more and more countries are joining the Chinese side and breaking off formal ties with Taiwan.