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Monday, 18 June, 2001, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
China resumes links with Macedonia
A Taiwanese foreign ministry spokesperson announces cuts with Macedonia on Monday
Taiwan's foreign ministry cut links on Monday
Macedonia has formally resumed diplomatic relations with China after severing links with Taiwan.

At a ceremony in Beijing, Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva promised to avoid relations with Taiwan, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province.

A Taiwanese spokeswoman said Taiwan, which established diplomatic relations with Macedonia in 1999, had now ended all economic aid to the Balkan country.

The BBC correspondent in Beijing says it is a serious blow to Taiwan's struggle to gain diplomatic recognition as a country in its own right.

It is acknowledged by far fewer countries than China - mostly by relatively poor African and Central American countries.

Diplomacy for cash deal

Macedonia recognised Taiwan as part of a deal in which the impoverished Balkan country would receive $300m in cash, and more than $1bn in long-term investment.

But only a fraction of that money has been forthcoming.

Meanwhile Macedonia has been wrenched by ethnic violence and shortly after Skopje switched recognition to Taiwan, China used its UN Security Council veto to force the withdrawal of a UN peacekeeping force from Macedonia.

As the ethnic violence there has deepened in recent months, our correspondent says Macedonia's leaders appear to have decided that Bejing's support for international intervention is more important than Taiwan's cash.

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See also:

04 Jun 01 | Americas
US resumes limited China contacts
01 Jun 01 | Asia-Pacific
China simulates Taiwan attack
18 May 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan reaches out to China
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