- "...the next to go (other than the well anticipated Holy See) will be those with large population and/or GDP, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Chad and less likely, Guatemala, Dominican Republic or Paraguay."
"Knuckling under China's huge pressure, Chad has decided to restore diplomatic ties with Beijing," foreign ministry spokesman Michel Lu told a midnight press conference. "To safeguard national dignity, sovereignty, the Republic of China, Taiwan government decided to cut off diplomatic ties with Chad and immediately suspended all of the aid projects to the country," Mr Lu said.
But Taiwanese people should celebrate for losing such an unreliable friend. All it can do to Taiwan is taking bribe and blackmailing.
Chad has proved itself to be a flip-flopper, incentivized solely by bribe. It befriended ROC in 1962 soon after it became independent, flipped to PRC in 1972 when PRC replaced ROC as the only legitimate government representing China in the UN, flopped back to ROC in 1997 presumably taking an enormous bribe. Then it flip-flopped again yesterday.
- Ironically, the switch this time is perhaps not a result of bribe because pure bribery no longer works on Chad, as its "mighty" GDP/cap of $1555 puts it in the middle class in Africa where the normal is 1/3 of that level. Moreover, Chad's fortunte has risen steadily with the oil price.
One down, 24 to go? I do not really think so.
- The number has more or less been at an equilibrium for the past few years. Taiwan's list may drop to below 20, but not likely to fall further. For every 2 friends lost, Taiwan may be able to bribe one back
- Because all these micro-states are bribable, as demonstrated by the case of Chad and all previous cases. However, the larger the state, the more expensive it is to bribe (compared with natutal economic benefits for befriending the mainland government, PRC)
- So we would see larger states going, and nano-states joining the list. i.e the average population, area, GDP for Taiwan's friend will continue to dwindle, so will the total
- Although it is unlikely for ROC to gain new friend when Chen Shui Bian is too busy with his own family's (and his own) multiple scandals, in the rest of his term (if he succeeds in severing his ties with the scandals), hopefully the bleeding will stop when the more mainland-friendly Ma takes position in 2008 - perhaps some agreement will be reached
Tidbits of Chad geography
- Chad Lake, once the 2nd largest in Africa, has shrunked by 90% in the past 3 decades. An ecological disater
- Chad is about 3x the size of California (countries near the equators are bigger than they appear on the maps). Chad is the largest country in Taiwan's list of 25, with half a million square miles. The runners-up are Paraguay and Burkina Faso (Upper Volta). Perhaps B.K will be the next to go.
- Territory dispute with Libya on Aozou Strip, relics of their colonial masters (recognizable by the ruler-straight boundary of the strip), led to 2 wars and an International Court of Justic verdict