PORT-AU-PRINCE – The Minister of Culture and Communication of Haiti said on Wednesday his country will maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, two days after the neighboring Dominican Republic severed formal ties with the Asian island country and established new ones with China.
Communications Minister Guyler C. Delva said at a press conference that “every country is moving in one direction or another, but for now, it is with Taiwan that Haiti has diplomatic relations.”
“Taiwan is a partner that helps us in different areas and we can say that it is a good partner that supports the government,” he added.
In addition, the minister noted that each country has the right to decide its foreign policy and that Haiti has its own “priorities and partners.”
The Dominican Republic announced Monday the establishment of diplomatic relations with China and decided to end more than 75 years of diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
The Taiwanese government on Tuesday also officially announced the severance of formal ties with the Caribbean country “to uphold the national interests and dignity of the country,” saying that it will “cease all cooperation projects between the two countries.”
The establishment of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Santo Domingo reinforces China’s role in Latin America and the Caribbean and reduces the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, which now stands at 19 countries.
The Dominican Republic has thus joined a trend of strengthening ties with China to the detriment of Taiwan as recently initiated by the neighboring countries, such as Panama in June and Sao Tome and Príncipe in December 2016.
Taiwan’s remaining allies include 10 in Latin America, six in Oceania, two in Africa and the Vatican City in Europe.