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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 01:02 GMT
Grenada picks China over Taiwan
St George's, Grenada
Grenada complained Taiwan was "not taking it seriously"
China has re-established diplomatic ties with Grenada, scoring a minor victory in its long-running dispute with neighbouring Taiwan.

China's Communist government refuses to recognise any country that maintains relations with Taiwan, which it claims as part of its territory.

Grenada was one of 27 countries, mainly African and Latin American nations, which boasted relations with Taipei.

Taiwan said that Grenada had not been in touch to confirm its decision.

Although Chinese state media announced the decision, opposition politicians in Grenada complained that they first heard of the move through media reports.

Grenada said that Taiwan was not taking their diplomatic relations seriously.

Diplomatic pledges

China and Grenada came to an agreement during talks in Beijing between the foreign ministers of the two countries.

Taiwan suggested in the past that China had been offering millions of dollars worth of aid to Caribbean countries to make them switch allegiances to Beijing.

The Taiwanese government itself has regularly used aid pledges as leverage to win diplomatic recognition.

Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Grenada's move is the second blow to Taiwan's diplomatic policies in recent months, following a decision by Pacific island nation Vanuatu not to form diplomatic links with Taipei.

The Grenadian Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell, visited Beijing last month and suggested that his country could re-establish ties with the mainland.

He said he was hoping that China could offer reconstruction aid to help Grenada repair damage caused by Hurricane Ivan.

Taiwan has offered Grenada $40m to rebuild its cricket ground.

Last year another Caribbean island, Dominica, cut ties with the island, claiming that its policy had been based on mistaken historical assumptions.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 as the Communist Party came to power on the mainland. The two have remained bitter rivals ever since.

Last week a deal to allow a one-off series of passenger flights between China and Taiwan was hailed as a sign of improving relations.

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09 Mar 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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