PANAMA CITY – Panama, a country in Central America, has announced its decision to sever diplomatic relation with Taiwan and established relations with China instead.

The government recognised that there was “only one China”  as it considers Taiwan part of it.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be part of the country.

Panama was among the few countries who had relations with Taiwan instead of Beijing, but now it has changed its stance and switched sides.

A statement issued in this regard stated, “The Government of the Republic of Panama recognizes that there is but one China in the world, that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

“The Government of the Republic of Panama severs ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes not to have any more official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan,” it continued.

In December last year, the African island of Sao Tome and Principe cut ties with Taiwan. Now only 20 countries have relations with Taiwan.

China has made intensive investments in recent years into Panama, which owns the economically vital Panama Canal.

Regarding cutting ties, Panama did not present any reason, but it is clear that economic cooperation is growing over the past years between the two countries.

China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949 and Beijing has pledged to make the island part of mainland by force if necessary.