Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen begins Caribbean tour as diplomatic recognition dwindles

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will arrive in Haiti today on the first stop of a tour of the Carribean countries

taiwan haiti tsai

Photo: TN

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen will arrive in Haiti today on the first stop of a tour of the Carribean countries that recognise Taiwanese statehood.

Tsai has visited New York and Denver in transit. Beijing protested the visit of Taiwan’s leader to the US, which it sees as a violation of the “one China” policy. The Tsai-Trump relationship has defied traditional US-China cross-strait policy, exemplified by the congratulatory phonecall, which marked the first time a US president or president-elect directly spoke with the ROC president since 1979.

The visit comes as China increases business incentives to win over the few remaining countries that do not recognise the government in Beijing as the official government of China. Just 16 states maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan – an all-time low – and of that the largest and most powerful by GDP measures is Paraguay.

Tsai’s visit to the Carribean is strategic; Taiwanese go to the polls in January, with Tsai polling at 34.5%. Furthermore, Tsai’s trip comes after the recent $2.2 billion US-Taiwan arms deal, reinforcing ties.

Beijing has asked that the US not break diplomatic norm and has rejected any official interactions between Taiwan and the US as a violation of the “one China” policy.

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