China refuses to maintain diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes Taiwan, a self-governed and democratic island off China’s southeastern coast that Beijing considers an integral part of its territory.
Taipei reacted angrily to the news, which left the island with 18 diplomatic allies around the world — mostly small and poor countries in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
“China’s suppression will only make Taiwan’s partnerships in the international community even closer. We will never give in,” she added.
The foreign ministry in Beijing said that China appreciates Burkina Faso’s decision, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency.
“We welcome Burkina Faso to join in China-Africa friendly cooperation as soon as possible on the basis of the one-China principle,” it said in a statement.
Taiwan minister offers to quit
Beijing and Taipei have a long history of rivalry in their efforts to gain economic opportunities and diplomatic support from governments around the world. With China’s rapidly rising economic and political might, however, the race is increasingly tilting in China’s favor.
China and Taiwan — officially the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, respectively — separated in 1949 following the Communist victory on the mainland after a civil war.
Although both Beijing and Taipei view the island as part of China, neither government recognizes the legitimacy of the opposing side.
Washington has close unofficial ties with Taiwan and provides the island with arms under the Taiwan Relations Act, but the US has formal diplomatic relations only with Beijing.
In the past few months, the Trump administration angered Beijing by authorizing US manufacturers to sell submarine technology to Taiwan, as well as enacting the Taiwan Travel Act to encourage official visits between the US and the island.
More than 30 airlines — including some US carriers — were recently told by the Civil Aviation Administration of China to remove any information suggesting Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau are not part of China.
“China’s serial acts of suppression against Taiwan in the diplomatic sphere clearly show their unease and lack of self-confidence,” said President Tsai in her statement on Burkina Faso’s diplomatic desertion.