Burkina Faso has cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

China has been applying pressure on the few remaining African countries with diplomatic ties with Taiwan to cut them.

“This decision is guided by the firm desire of the government of Burkina Faso to defend the interests of Burkina Faso and its people in the concert of nations,” the ministry said in a statement, which made no direct mention of China.

NAN reported that Burkina Faso is among the very small number of African countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Burkina-Taiwan diplomatic relations have witnessed several ebbs and flows over the past five decades.

Originated in 1961, the relations between them lasted only one decade ending when the UN recognised China.

Gen. Sangoule Lamizana, president of Burkina Faso at that time, shifted the weight in favour of China.

However this bonhomie lasted only two decades and Blaise Compaore sought restoration of relations with decades old friend Taiwan in 1994.

However, this time, the relations between the two observed new momentum and rhythm as the two governments engaged in making the Taipei-Ouagadougou axis an exemplary one.

According to Reuters, “In 2008 alone, Taiwan exported around $150 million worth of goods to Burkina Faso, while Burkina Faso exported about $8.45 million worth of goods to Taiwan, in which cotton held the biggest share at 99%.”

In addition to the dynamic economic cooperation between the countries, Taiwan provides capacity building to professionals from Burkina Faso in the health and agriculture sectors.

The integrity of the good relations between the two countries can be judged by the numerous high official visits between them.

Since 1994, Blaise Compaore made 10 official visits to Taiwan.

The changing political patterns in Burkina Faso’s recent history marked by the departure of Compaore and the formation of a new government of transition are observed and followed closely by both Taiwan and China.

China’s manoeuvre to isolate Taiwan from the international community has been countered by Burkina Faso who time and again offered its diplomatic channels to Taiwan.

As far as Taipei is concerned, they strongly believe that Ouagadougou will remain on their side despite the deposing of Compaore. (NAN)