Pacific island of Sao Tome breaks ties with Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — Taiwan says the Pacific island nation of Sao Tome and Principe has broken their diplomatic ties.

Just 21 countries and governments now have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Most of the world and the United Nations do not formally recognize Taiwan as a condition of maintaining relations with Beijing, which considers Taiwan a part of its territory.

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday said it welcomed Sao Tome’s decision to “break the so-called ‘diplomatic’ ties with Taiwan.”

China did not say whether it would resume its own diplomacy with Sao Tome. Beijing suspended relations between the two sides in 1997, after Sao Tome established relations with Taipei.