China and Senegal had maintained diplomatic relations since 1971 before the impoverished nation decided to recognize Taiwan in 1996.A joint communique sealing the newly-established relations with China was signed during Senegal's Foreign Minister's visit to China. "On Tuesday, the government of Senegal made effective...the important decision to renew diplomatic relations with People's Republic of China," a statement from Senegal's foreign affairs ministry issued Tuesday said.
China had built with its aid numerous projects including the Friendship Stadium and the Bignona Water Conservancy Project, before the former Socialist regime broke off relations with the Asian nation.
In recent years, China has aggressively campaigned for diplomatic recognition in the Caribbean, persuading islands to switch loyalties from Taiwan with offers of generous aid packages and promises to send tourists in what some critics have labeled "dollar diplomacy." Although democratic Taiwan is self-governing, communist Beijing insists the island that broke away amid civil war in 1949 is still part of China, the AP reports. A.M.