International news was made again as Costa Rica switched recognition from Taiwan to China. Reports filled the world media:

Taiwans News.Net

A joint communique, signed on June 1 by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and his Costa Rican counterpart Bruno Stagno Ugarte, says the two governments, ‘in accordance with the interests and aspirations of the peoples of the two countries, agree to establish diplomatic ties at ambassadorial level beginning June 1, 2007.’

‘The Costa Rican government recognizes that there is only one China and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory,’ it says.

Costa Rica established diplomatic relations with the then Chinese government ruled by the Kuomintang party in 1941. In 1949 the Kuomintang authorities moved to Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China was founded.

‘For Costa Rica this is an act of foreign policy realism that promotes links to Asia,’ said Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. ‘It is my responsibility to recognize a global player as important as the People’s Republic of China.’

Arias, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to end civil wars then in Central American countries, said his decision was based on the deep trade relationship between the two nations.

AP reports that the payola for recognition diplomatic strategy was outmatched:

Taiwan’s foreign minister ordered ”extreme precautions” be taken Thursday to hold on to the island’s allies in Latin America after Costa Rica switched diplomatic relations to political rival China, further isolating the Taipei government.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias blamed Taiwan’s meager aid for the switch and warned the island would lose more allies unless it was more generous with its aid.

”I was always critical of the Taiwanese, and I can say now that I always told them . . . if you want to have friends in the world, you should be more generous,” he said.

He cited as an example Taiwan’s $20 million aid offer to Haiti, arguing that the island should give “10 times that, $200 million, because that’s nothing to you, seeing the reserves you have.”

”Considering the few friends they have, they don’t treat them very well,” Arias said of Taiwan, adding: “Without a doubt, we will get more help from China.”

The Domino effect was cited in another AP report:

In May, Nicaragua’s Vice President Jaime Morales raised the possibility of cutting ties with the island when he told Huang that “we as a sovereign country choose who our friends are” and that he “doesn’t deny the reality that China represents economically, commercially and geopolitically.”

Analyst Andrew Yang of the Taipei-based Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies said the Costa Rican decision would likely create a chain reaction. “Probably Nicaragua and Panama are next and then maybe Paraguay,” he said.

But the local pro-KMT English rag, the China Post, assured its readers that the other nations will stand firm:

Two of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in Central America, Guatemala and El Salvador, have each announced that they will maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The two countries made their announcements after Costa Rica, formerly another ally of Taiwan in Central America, switched its diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing Wednesday.

According to Spanish news reports by the Associated Press, Salvadoran President Antonio Saca said at a news conference Wednesday that his nation would like to develop relations with China, but only on the condition that China not ask his country to cut its ties with Taiwan.

This kind of thing is one of the inevitable results of living inside a cocoon called the Republic of China. That state is a virtual government whose time has passed. There’s not much else to be done or said, except play out the string. Perhaps when it reaches the end there will be new thinking in Taipei about the island’s international role. Many commentators are arguing for some kind of quasi-state-freeport solution for the island’s status. That’s certainly interesting, but it doesn’t do squat about our expansionist neighbor across the Straits.

In the meantime, to return to the discussion of the Status Quo , it is interesting how China’s continued suppression of Taiwan’s international presence is not regarded as a status quo violation…..