El Salvador, Taiwan break ties as China isolates island foe & Scott Morrison
Taiwan broke off diplomatic ties with El Salvador on Tuesday as the Central American country defected to rival Beijing in the latest blow to the self-ruled island China has been trying to isolate on the global stage.
The break in ties means Taiwan is recognized as a sovereign nation by only 17 mainly small, developing countries. In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that his government had established ties with El Salvador.
“History will prove that establishing diplomatic relations with China is in full accordance with the fundamental and long-term interests of the country and the people of El Salvador,” Wang said.
Taiwan split from mainland China amid civil war in 1949, and Beijing, which considers Taiwan its territory, campaigns relentlessly to isolate the island globally. It cut off relations with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s government shortly after she took office in 2016 and has been steadily ratcheting up both diplomatic and economic pressure.
Earlier this year, the West African nation of Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic broke ties with Taiwan and resumed or established diplomatic relations with China.
On 21 August 2018, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a leadership spill in order to gauge the confidence of the Liberal Party in his leadership. He defeated challenger Peter Dutton by 48 votes to 35. Over the following days, there was repeated speculation about a second spill being called, without Turnbull’s approval. On 23 August, Turnbull announced that he would resign the leadership if a spill motion were passed, and Morrison and Julie Bishop announced they would stand for the leadership if that were the case. A spill motion was passed on 24 August by 45 votes to 40, and Turnbull did not run as a candidate in the resulting leadership vote. On the first ballot, Dutton received 38 votes, Morrison 36 votes, and Bishop 11 votes. On the second ballot, Morrison received 45 votes and Dutton 40 votes. He thus became leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister-designate. Josh Frydenberg was elected as the party’s deputy leader, in place of Bishop. Morrison was widely seen as a compromise candidate, who was agreeable to both the moderate supporters of Turnbull and Bishop and the conservative supporters of Dutton.