Letters & Opinion

President Tsai Ing-wen’s statement on termination of diplomatic relations with Burkina Faso

IMAGE OF TSAI ING-WEN

ON the evening of May 24, President Tsai Ing-wen issued a major statement on the termination of diplomatic relations with Burkina Faso. An English translation of the president’s remarks follows:

We have formally severed diplomatic relations today with Burkina Faso, just weeks after having done likewise with the Dominican Republic. China’s serial acts of suppression against Taiwan in the diplomatic sphere clearly show their unease and lack of self-confidence. And this unease and lack of confidence is due to Taiwan’s recent progress in substantive economic and security relations with the United States and other like-minded countries.

President Tsai

Whether it’s dispatching fighter jets to circle Taiwan, luring away our diplomatic allies, forcing international corporations to change the name they use to refer to Taiwan, preventing Taiwan from participating in international organisations including the World Health Organisation, and even meddling in a private children’s art activity in another country, China’s suppression subjects Taiwan to blatant political interference. But the more unreasonable their behaviour gets, the more they inspire the ire of the international community, and strengthen international support for Taiwan. The fact that more countries than ever before voiced their support for Taiwan at this year’s World Health Assembly is a clear example.

My fellow citizens, China’s efforts to undermine our national sovereignty are already challenging Taiwan society’s bottom line. This we will no longer tolerate. We will simply redouble our resolve and continue to engage with the world, and continue establishing more and more substantive, economic and security partnerships with like-minded countries to garner the international community’s acknowledgement and support.

This is a warning to the Chinese government: This behaviour is detrimental to cross-strait relations and China’s international image, and does nothing to ease the international community’s concerns about China.

Given the progress of Taiwan’s substantive relations with the international community, China’s international suppression of Taiwan is predictable. We are sincerely grateful to our international partners, who have long continued to strengthen substantive international relations with Taiwan. We also promise that these kinds of substantive relations will only continue to progress, and will never regress.

Here, I also want to reaffirm that Taiwan will not engage in dollar diplomacy with China. But for the diplomatic allies who have stood by Taiwan, the people of Taiwan are extremely grateful, and we will definitely do everything in our power to help them develop on all fronts. China has resorted to dollar diplomacy, promising vast amounts of money to establish official relations with many countries. This approach has already made the international community increasingly dissatisfied and concerned about China’s improper interference and lack of good faith.

I want to state once again: China’s suppression will only make Taiwan’s partnerships in the international community even closer. We will never give in.

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