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Taiwan confident of keeping Burkina Faso ties after army takeover

Reuters , Monday 3 Nov 2014

Taiwan's foreign ministry said on Monday it was confident of maintaining ties with African ally Burkina Faso following the resignation of the president and an army takeover.

Burkina Faso is one of the three remaining countries in Africa - along with Swaziland and Sao Tome and Principe - that still have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, with most countries recognising China instead.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be recovered by force if necessary.

Taiwan has lost allies before, following political changes or unrest, with some countries switching ties more than once, including Lesotho, Liberia and Niger.

"The two countries have had solid relations over the past years. The relations will not be affected by the change of their government," an official at Taiwan's foreign ministry told Reuters.

The official did not want to be identified as "it's inappropriate diplomatically" for any country to comment on a situation such as that existing in Burkina Faso.

However, China and Taiwan have engaged in an unofficial diplomatic truce since signing a series of landmark trade and economic pacts in 2008, as China tries to convince Taiwan of its friendly intentions after decades of hostility and suspicion.

China has yet to establish diplomatic relations with Gambia after it severed ties with Taiwan last year, though Beijing has been courting Sao Tome.

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