SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (ViaNews) – In the academic study of International relations, the concept of national sovereignty is defined as “the authority of a state to govern itself”. In the real world though, how often does a sovereign state bows to the will of a stronger state?

Shortly after assuming office and presenting herself to President Danilo Medina, Robin Bernstein, the new U.S. Ambassador has been called to Washington for “consultation” regarding Dominican abandoning their long-standing ties with Taiwan and linking up with China.

According to the Dominican newspaper, Listín Diario, the State Department attitude has originated an outcry with some analysts referring to the increasing presence of China in Latin America and the need to “getting the chicken coop in order.”

Embassy of the Dominican Republic to the United States in Washington, D.C. Photo by: AgnosticPreachersKid
Embassy of the Dominican Republic to the United States in Washington, D.C. Photo by: AgnosticPreachersKid

Listin Diario reported that “the call for consultations by the U.S. of their representatives in Panamá, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic relating to their new ties with China has generated criticisms and alarm among some businessmen who fear that economic relations with North America will be affected.

Since the “big stick” era ( U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s foreign policy), the generally held attitude has been that the United States views Central America as its “backyard”. This was confirmed once again when Ambassadors Robin Bernstein, from the Dominican Republic, Jean Manes, from El Salvador, and charge d´affairs, Roxanne Cabral, from Panama, were called for “consultations” by the State Department. These were all viewed as pointing toward, in diplomatic parlance, an indirect scolding to the countries involved for their action toward China.

The Chinese Ambassador to Panamá, Wei Qiang, expressing this in Twitter: “It seems incredible how a world power losses its credibility throwing quarrels at those who adopt the same policy they have been pursuing for almost 4 decades. Double standard and arrogance in its pure state.”

Diario Libre reports that the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the call for US consultations to the ambassadors in three countries that have recently broken ties with Taiwan to establish them with China (Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador) is an “irresponsible” attitude that “damages the image” of Washington.

Panama established diplomatic relations with China in 2017, while the Dominican Republic and El Salvador did so in May and August. Costa Rica was the first, in 2007.

“Two Chinas” issue: Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Popular Republic of China

It’s important to point out the situation concerning Taiwan toward which China has allegedly imposed its own will by designating it as a Chinese province in an “all or nothing” policy toward its relations with other countries.

The BBC reports that “the fighting ended in 1950, after more than 20 years, but in a certain sense the Chinese civil war has not yet ended. The reason is that China and Taiwán each one views itself as the heir of the legitimate, unified, China.”

Xi Jinping is officially the President of the Popular Republic of China, and Tsai Ing-wen is the President of the Republic of China – also known as Taiwan -, which is considered by Beijing a renegade province but is still recognized by twenty countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Oceania.


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