Friday, March 18, 2016

Yes, China Has Re-established Ties With The Gambia. Now Calm Down

As a post-modern state, Taiwan should not worry too much about its official diplomatic allies, many of which are micro-states. It must instead focus on substance with countries of influence 

The rumors, which had been circulating for a while, were confirmed early in the evening of March 17. China was resuming diplomatic ties with The Gambia. The African country had been in political limbo since November 2013, when it had severed ties with Taipei only to be spurned by Beijing, ostensibly because the Chinese government did not want to shatter the “diplomatic truce” it had struck with President Ma Ying-jeou. Now the question on everybody’s lips is whether Beijing’s apparent change of heart constitutes a “warning” to Tsai Ing-wen, who will assume the presidency on May 20, and signals an end to the informal arrangement whereby the two sides of the Taiwan Strait wouldn’t “steal” diplomatic allies from each other. The short answer is maybe, but even if that were the case, there is no reason for Taiwan to panic. 

My op-ed, published today in The News Lens International, continues here (photo: Xinhua).

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