Diplomatic ties with El Salvador remain solid amid reports that the Central American nation was considering switching its recognition to Beijing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, Taiwan) said yesterday.
Salvadorean President Mauricio Funes was quoted by The Associated Press (AP) as saying that his government was “exploring” the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Funes said the decision would depend on “what is best for the country,” business-wise, adding, “we’re exploring new markets,” AP reported.
Funes’ comments came as a trade fair opened in San Salvador that included representatives from more than 50 Chinese firms, AP said.
The loss of El Salvador would be extremely embarrassing to President Ma Ying-jeou (é¦¬è‹±ä¹), who has said that the apparent truce between Taiwan and China concerning attempts to gain diplomatic allies at the other’s expense was a major accomplishment of his administration.
Foreign affairs analyst Alexander Huang (é»ƒä»‹æ£) of Tamkang University said in Taipei that it was very unlikely that China would risk undermining Ma’s position by poaching El Salvador, particularly ahead of the special municipality elections on Saturday.