China Jacks Up Pressure On Taiwan
Beijing's push to isolate Taiwan is gathering pace, with two of the island's few remaining allies switching allegiance to China in the past month.
Taiwan isn't just taking heat from China diplomatically. Multi-national companies are being pressured over how they describe Taiwan, with Beijing insisting they follow its line that the island is an integral part of China. Shows of force by the Chinese military in the Taiwan Strait, the narrow strip of water that divides the two, are also becoming more commonplace.
This ratcheting up of tensions between China and the self-governed, democratic island opens up another fault line for Washington in its dealings with Beijing, with the Trump administration already at odds with China over trade, North Korea and the South China Sea, reports CNN.
The United States has signaled closer support for Taiwan and a high-profile demonstration of solidarity comes in June when the United States opens a new complex to house its de facto embassy in Taipei that's three times the size of the original building.
While Beijing has been chipping away at Taiwan's shallow bench of diplomatic allies for years, the loss of two – Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic – in the space of a month is unprecedented.
Taiwan accuses Beijing of "dollar diplomacy," enticing countries to switch allegiance with cash or other incentives – a strategy that's become easier as China's grown richer and its pockets deeper.
Image credit: CNN