The small West African state of Sao Tome breaks off diplomatic ties with Taiwan, a move that China is welcoming. Taiwan now has only two allies left in Africa. Eve Johnson reports.
You may have never heard of Sao Tome, but this tiny island state off the coast of West Africa is making big news in China. The country on Tuesday (December 20) announcing it's breaking off ties with Taiwan. And Beijing hasn't wasted any time offering its congratulations, welcoming Sao Tome back to the quote "right track". China and Taiwan have a history of poaching each other's allies, often dangling generous aid packages to lure in developing countries. So far Beijing isn't saying when or if it will swoop in to secure diplomatic ties with Sao Tome, although sources say it's likely. Relations between China and Taiwan have gone downhill this year after the democratic island state elected Tsai Ing-wen as president. Beijing has accused her of wanting to push for formal independence -- a charge that she denies. Sao Tome isn't the only African country to dump Taiwan recently. Gambia made its switch to China official this year, leaving Taiwan only two allies in Africa: Burkina Faso and Swaziland.