Gambia regrets previous ties with Taiwan: President tells China
Gambian President Adama Barrow told Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday that his countryâs previous ties with self-ruled Taiwan had been a âhuge mistakeâ, and he thanked China for all the help it had given subsequently, China said.
China resumed ties with Gambia in 2016, after it ended formal relations with Taiwan, claimed by China as a wayward province with no right to diplomatic relations.
Two other African countries have since followed suit, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe and Burkina F aso.
China has helped us improve communications, roads and transport conditions, things that in all the years gone past we wanted to do but were unable.
China has stepped up pressure on Taiwanâs remaining allies â" now down to just 17, most of them poor countries in the Pacific and Central America â" as it seeks to limit the democratic islandâs international footprint.
Meeting Xi in Beijing following this weekâs China-Africa summit, Barrow told Xi that his country had been wrong to maintain relations with Taiwan.
âThe facts prove that Gambia previously maintaining so-called diplomatic relations with Taiwan was a huge mistake,â Chinaâs foreign ministry cited Barrow as saying.
âChina has helped us improve communications, roads and transport conditions, things that in all the years gone past we wanted to do but were unable,â he added.
Barrow sai d he âbelieved that with Chinaâs cooperation, Gambia will achieve speeded-up developmentâ, the ministry said.
For years, China and Taiwan have tried to poach each otherâs allies, often dangling generous aid packages in front of leaders of developing nations.
The kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is Taiwanâs only remaining African ally. It has shown no desire to ditch Taipei even as China steps up efforts to woo it.
Chinaâs renewed diplomatic tussle with Taiwan has also dragged in the United States. While Washington only recognises China, it has strong unofficial relations with Taiwan and is its main arms supplier.
Last month, the United States attacked El Salvadorâs decision to abandon Taiwan in favour of China, saying the change was of grave concern and warning that China was offering economic inducements to seek domination.
REUTERSSource: Google News Taiwan | Netizen 24 Taiwan