World Bulletin / News Desk
China delivered another diplomatic punch to Taiwan on Tuesday by establishing relations with Panama at the expense of Taipei, further isolating the island's Beijing-sceptic government.
China, which considers self-ruled Taiwan a renegade province waiting to be reunited with the mainland, has been infuriated by President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to acknowledge the island is part of "one China", unlike her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou.
Panama is the third country to switch allegiances to China since Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party was swept to power last year, China's nationalistic Global Times reported, warning more would follow in a "domino effect".
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Panamanian counterpart Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado toasted with champagne in Beijing after signing a communique formalising the establishment of diplomatic relations while angering Taiwan.
"This is a historic moment, China-Panama relations have opened a new chapter," Wang said, adding that Panama's decision was in "complete accordance" with its people's interests and "in keeping with the times".
Saint Malo said Panama and China had made an "important step" and started a "new page in our strategic relations"
After decades of siding with Taiwan, Panama now "recognises that there is only one China in the world" and that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, said the joint communique.
While the Central American country is small, the Panama Canal canal is a crucial gateway for global trade between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Haziran 2017, 13:29