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>> You may never have heard of Sao Tome, but this tiny island state off the coast of West Africa is making big news after breaking off ties with Taiwan. Beijing on Wednesday, welcoming its quote, return to the One China principle, which doesn't recognize an independent Taiwan. Reuters JR Wu gives us the reaction from Taipei.
>> In everyone's mind here, China got involved and it was because of pressure from the Chinese that resulted in Taiwan loosing yet another ally. Taiwan now has 21 allies left after the Sao Tome decision. It needs these diplomatic allies because they can officially speak out for Taiwan in meetings like the United Nations, to press for more recognition for Taipei in the international community.
>> China and Taiwan have a history of poaching each other's allies. Often dangling generous aid packages to lure in developing countries. Taipei calling this latest news just another example of China's dollar diplomacy.>> Beijing should not use Sao Tome's widening financial black hole as an opportunity to push its so called One China principle.
>> China hasn't said if or when it will swoop in to secure diplomatic ties with Sao Tome. But sources say, that courtship from Beijing is likely. China's claims to Taiwan have shot back into the spotlight recently, after Donald Trump broke diplomatic protocol when he took a phone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen earlier this month, angering Beijing.
Sao Tome is only the latest chapter of a diplomatic tug of war across the Taiwan Strait. Gambia made its switch to China official this year, leaving Taipei only two allies in Africa, Burkina Faso and Swaziland.