August 21, 2018
Statement No. 005
The Republic of China (Taiwan) has terminated diplomatic relations with the Republic of El Salvador with immediate effect August 21, having confirmed that all diplomatic efforts in maintaining relations had been exhausted. Taiwan will end all cooperation and assistance projects with El Salvador, close its Embassy in San Salvador, and recall all technical personnel.
Since 2017, the government of El Salvador had repeatedly demanded large amounts of funds from Taiwan for the development of the Port La Union in the Eastern part of the country. The government of Taiwan dispatched an engineering team to make an overall assessment, reaching the conclusion that the project could lead to tremendous debt risks for both Taiwan and El Salvador. Therefore, Taiwan could not agree to the requests made by El Salvador. As a responsible government, Taiwan, like many like-minded countries, could not pledge support to the government of El Salvador for the Port La Union initiative.
Meanwhile, El Salvador is preparing to hold a presidential election in February 2019. With the campaign underway, the Salvadorian ruling party is lagging far behind in the polls. It solicited Taiwan’s help in raising campaign funds. The government of Taiwan could not agree to such requests, as they run contrary to democratic principles.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) emphasizes that Taiwan is willing to give due consideration to any bilateral cooperation project in areas such as education, agriculture and infrastructure that can enhance the wellbeing of the people of both nations concerned. However, it would be irresponsible to engage in dollar diplomacy to compete with China for allies, or even make illegal political donations. The government of Taiwan will not and cannot go down this path.
With Taiwan under constant diplomatic pressure from China, MOFA solemnly urges the people of Taiwan to stand together. China’s heavy-handed actions, which are unbecoming of a responsible nation, are clearly having a negative impact on ties across the Taiwan Strait. MOFA also reiterates that China’s suppression of Taiwan has never ceased. Taiwan is a democratic and free country. Taiwan will continue to move forward steadfastly. China’s unreasonable suppression will only serve to strengthen Taiwan’s commitment to pursuing even greater democracy, freedom and sovereignty. (E)