Continental Focus, International Reach

Taiwan Loses Chad to China

Monday, August 7, 2006

It seems that Chad has switched its Asian alliance and has now taken up with the Chinese. According to reports out of Taiwan, diplomatic relations have been broke off with the African country and the trip to Chad by the country’s Premier, Su Tseng-chang,  scheduled to take place today, has been canceled.

Taiwan will stop all aid to Chad, Michel Lu, spokesman for Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press conference in Taipei. “Chad made the decision for its survival,” Lu told reporters. “We deeply regret it.”

The decision by Chad, one of the world’s 10 poorest countries, to recognize China over Taiwan means the Asian island has diplomatic relations with only 24 countries. West African countries, Senegal and Liberia broke ties with Taiwan following President Chen Shui-bian taking office in May 2000.

Chinese Petroleum Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil company, in January signed an agreement with the Chad government for rights to explore for oil and gas in the country. Chinese Petroleum doesn’t expect the agreement to be affected, as “it’s a commercial activity,” the Taipei-based company said in a statement.