Panama has severed diplomatic relations withTaiwan in favor of recognizing China, the latest in a series of developments adding to the island’s isolation on the world stage.
Only 19 countries and the Vatican now recognize Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China. Many of those countries are in Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and the decision by Panama, announced on Monday, appeared to put those relationships in doubt. The news is a major setback for Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen. She visited Panama last summer, shortly after taking office, for the inauguration of President Juan Carlos Varela and the opening of an expanded Panama Canal. The first ship to sail through the expanded canal was a Chinese one.