Taiwan expressed regret Thursday over a decision by the Gambia and China to resume diplomatic ties two years after the African country severed relations with Taiwan.
Earlier on Thursday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Gambia issued a joint statement, indicating that they had reestablished official relations after 21 years.
“It has been two years and four months since the Gambia unilaterally decided to break diplomatic relations with us on November 14, 2013,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement.
“We regret the Gambia’s decision to establish official ties with mainland China.”
In an effort to safeguard Taiwan’s interests, the MOFA said, it will stay highly alert to possible suppression by Beijing in the international arena.
“The Republic of China (Taiwan) will continue to strengthen relations with its diplomatic allies,” the MOFA said.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office also issued a statement on the matter, saying that Beijing is still committed to the “one China policy” and peaceful and stable relations across the Taiwan Strait.
That policy remains unchanged, the office said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), a Cabinet-level agency responsible for China policy, voiced “strong dissatisfaction” over the latest development.
Beijing’s decision to resume diplomatic ties with The Gambia is detrimental to the mutual trust built across the strait over the past eight years, the MAC said.
It is also contrary to the efforts by both sides to pursue peaceful and stable relations, the MAC said.
Although there are no official ties between Taiwan and The Gambia, the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and one of Taiwan’s former diplomatic allies could lead to “misunderstanding” in the international community about cross-strait relations, the MAC said.
Beijing should have given greater consideration to the negative effects of such a move on cross-strait ties, it added.
China should squarely face the fact that “the Republic of China is a sovereign country” and should “not take such negative unilateral actions,” the MAC said. “Otherwise, China will have to take full responsibility for any consequences.”