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    The Chinese flag is seen in front of a view of the moon at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on December 13, 2013

    Panama Establishes Formal Relations With China, Breaks Ties With Taiwan

    © AFP 2017/ MARK RALSTON
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    Panama and China have established official diplomatic relations as the Central American country had broken ties with Taiwan, Chinese media reported on Tuesday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — The decision was announced in a national address by Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela, who called the move "historic" and stressed that China was the second largest user of Panama Canal, the Chinese CGTN broadcaster reported.

    Taiwan now has formal ties with 20 governments, 12 of which are Latin America and the Caribbean.

    After Chinese Nationalist forces were defeated by Mao Zedong’s Communists, the Nationalist government moved to Taiwan in 1949. Since then, Beijing has viewed the self-ruled, democratic island as a breakaway province. The United States, along with many other countries, does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and sticks officially to the "One China" position, but has kept informal relations with the island after severing diplomatic ties with it in 1979.

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    Panama, Republic of China, Taiwan, China
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