US recalls Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama diplomats

September 7, 2018 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has recalled its envoys to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama after decisions by those nations to cut ties with Taiwan in favor of diplomatic relations with China.

The State Department says it has called back Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Bernstein, Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes, and Charge d’Affaires in Panama Roxanne Cabral “to discuss ways in which the United States can support strong, independent, democratic institutions and economies throughout Central America and the Caribbean.”

While the United States formally recognizes only China, it remains a close Taiwanese ally and maintains a de facto embassy in the island’s capital, Taipei.

Taiwan is now left with just 17 diplomatic allies as China ratchets up pressure on the island’s government to endorse Beijing’s “one-China” principle.