On Thursday, in a statement about the decision to break with Taiwan, Mr. Barry made no direct mention of China, saying only, “The evolution of the world and the socio-economic challenges of our country and region push us to reconsider our position.”
Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory under its “One China” principle, and has long refused to have diplomatic relations with any country that officially recognizes Taiwan. It has been ratcheting up pressure since President Tsai Ing-wen, whose party has traditionally favored independence for Taiwan, took office two years ago.
On Friday, Ms. Tsai said on Twitter that “China’s growing pressure will only strengthen other countries’ support for us.” She added, “We will never back down.”
Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said he had offered his resignation to the president, saying that Taiwan cannot compete with China’s financial resources.
“I, along with our country’s people, feel sad, angry and regretful,” he said. “China grabbing our allies and giving us pressure in the diplomatic space will not shrink the distance across the strait and will not let cross-strait relations walk on a peaceful, friendly path.”