20 Dec 2022
By Jessica Drun
6 December 2021
In some instances, these announcements on changes in diplomatic recognition were deliberately timed to signal discontent with the Tsai administration or advancements in US-Taiwan relations. For example, Beijing established relations with Sao Tome and Principe following Trump’s phone call with Tsai after he was elected38 and with Panama as Taiwan representatives were participating in the Biden administration’s “Summit for Democracy.”39 Notably, many of the former ROC allies that Beijing has successfully poached since 2016 are geographically situated in strategically-important locations.40
One particularly effective approach has been participating in multilateral discussions in which the PRC is not a member, such as the Halifax Security Forum, the Summit for Democracy, and the Open Parliament Forum. The United States and its allies could also encourage greater alignment on any offensive or defensive approaches to maximize Taiwan’s international space and help Taiwan build its capacity and mitigate vulnerabilities.