(Yicai Global) Dec. 21 -- The government of The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe announced Dec 20. it will break off its diplomatic relations with Taiwan, a tacit endorsement of the 'One China' policy. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has welcomed the decision.
The Ministry noted Sao Tome and Principe's decision to break off its "diplomatic" relations with Taiwan, saying China appreciates this act and welcomes the Republic along with other countries who have re-iterated their support of the 'One China' policy.
"Adhering to the one-China policy is the prerequisite and basis on which China develops relations of friendly cooperation with any countries in the world," Geng Shuang, Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Located in the Gulf of Guinea, central and western Africa, Sao Tome and Principe is composed of Sao Tome Island, Principe Island and surrounding islets. It covers an area of 1,001 square kilometers and has a population of 122,000 and was once a Portugese colony. The nation became a democratic republic after becoming independent on July 12, 1975.
On July 12, 1975, China and Sao Tome and Principe established diplomatic relations, however, on May 6, 1997, the Republic also opened relations with Taiwan. On July 11, 1997, the Chinese government discontinued diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe from this date.
Since Sao Tome and Principe have broken off diplomatic relations with Taiwan, there are now only 21 nations with such agreements. They are Burkina Faso and Swaziland in Africa, The Holy See in Europe, six states in Oceania, Kiribati, The Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, The Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. In Latin America, Belize, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines all maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.