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Costa Rica Re-establish Relations with China Reporters
June 07, 2007

Costa Rican President, Oscar Arias, announced that his country has broken diplomatic ties with Taiwan and re-established relations with China.

China's Foreign Ministry said the agreement to switch ties was signed by Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi; the Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Bruno Stagno; and the Minister of Trade, Guillermo Zuniga in Beijing on June 01, 2007.

The Costa Rican Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Ricardo Thompson, stated that the re-establishment of relations with the People's Republic of China was, " act of realism in the foreign affairs policy of Costa Rica, Asia and the rest of the world." He also stated that while they recognize the People's Republic of China, they, "...remain committed to solutions that can lead to the reunification of People's Republic of China and Taiwan." The Costa Rican government will continue to maintain non-official relations with Taiwan.

Taiwan has been concerned about a deterioration of its relations with Costa Rica since May 14, 2007, when Costa Rica voted at an international health conference against holding a discussion on the proposed Taiwanese membership in the World Health Organization. This break in relation with Taiwan leaves the Taiwanese government with about 24 diplomatic ties, while more than 170 countries in the world have recognized in principal, the People's Republic of China.

The two countries agreed to announce the decision on June 07 but because of the time differences, Costa Rica announced it late Wednesday night, which is the early hours of June 07, 2007, in Taipei and Beijing.

The joint communiqué was signed by Chinese Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, and Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Bruno Stagno. Foreign Minister, Bruno Stagno, informed the Taiwanese Embassy in San José during a meeting shortly before yesterday's press conference. Taiwan and Costa Rica will now begin the process of closing their respective embassies.

The tensions between China and Taiwan have their roots in the Chinese Civil War of 1927-1950.

The Chinese Civil War, which lasted from April 1927 to May 1950, was a civil war in China between the Kuomintang (KMT or Nationalist Party) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It began in 1927, after the Northern Expedition, when the right-wing faction of the KMT, led by Chiang Kai-shek, purged the Communists and KMT leftists from a KMT-CCP alliance. It went on intermittently until the looming Second Sino-Japanese War interrupted it.

Full-scale war resumed in 1946 and ended in 1950 with an unofficial cessation of major hostilities, with the Communists controlling mainland China (including Hainan Island) and the Nationalists restricted to their remaining territories of Taiwan, the Pescadores, and several outlying Fujianese islands. During the 1960s, some native Taiwanese, upset by the rule of the mainland minority, began to call for independence from China.

The current position of the People's Republic of China is that, "The Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China." This view is rejected by Taiwan's Republic of China government which holds the view that both PRC and ROC are two separate and sovereign Chinese governments that split during the Chinese Civil War.

After learning of Costa Rica's decision, Taiwan on Thursday morning cut ties with Costa Rica and condemned China's, "suppressing Taiwan's space for international activities."

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