Research Unit on International Security and Cooperation
Due to the policy of “diplomatic truce” during the presidency of Ma Ying-Jeou, and the good will of mainland China, from 2008 to 2016, generally speaking, the number of ROC’s diplomatic allies remained stable, except in November 2013, when Gambia cut its diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 20, 2016, some changes are expected in cross-Strait relations between Mainland China and Taiwan, given the reluctance of President Tsai to express her support to the 1992 Consensus, and the previous reactions of Mainland China. Nowadays, among the 20 ROC diplomatic allies, 11 are located in Latin America.
This article tries to respond to the following questions: Is it possible to go back to the bilateral diplomatic competition for recognition by different ally countries, like that maintained during the governments of Lee Tenghui and Chen Sui-bian? Will Mainland China intend to seize more countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan in order to press Tsai for closer cross-Strait relations? Will the Taiwan´ diplomatic allies in Latin America turn to Mainland China, accepting its offers and incentives?