Taiwan: China won't aid Taiwan's diplomatic allies
Vice-commerce Minister Wei Jianguo delivered the message in Beijing as he unveiled the South-South Co-operation project, referring to assistance under the United Nations system from one developing country to another.
"Only those countries which have established diplomatic relations with China can participate in the project," he told a briefing.
This means 27 countries - mostly poorer developing nations - that have formal ties with China's arch rival Taiwan will be automatically excluded from benefiting from the projects, he said.
"Our attitude is very clear," he said. "Countries that haven't formally established relations with the Taiwan authorities can participate in activities under the South-South co-operation mechanism."
Liberia switched its recognition to China in 2003 with only the tiny island of Kiribati going the other way, joining the Vatican, 14 Latin American nations, seven in Africa and four in the Pacific in recognising Taiwan.
China considers Taiwan - ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949 - part of its territory and demands of all its diplomatic allies that they sever ties with the island.
The Chinese programme unveiled on Tuesday foresees development assistance coming in various forms, including increased participation from local companies investing in developing countries.
"We hope this project and our efforts can serve as a catalyst to encourage more Chinese private companies to invest in Africa," Wei said.
Under the programme, Chinese companies' investments in Africa will be facilitated through policy support such as preferential bank loans and credit guarantee insurance, he said.
A series of Chinese enterprises have already invested in areas as diverse as Zambian farming, Tanzanian textiles and Nigerian electronics, with "very good economic returns", he said.
He said he expected China's trade with Africa to rise from about $10-billion now to $30-billion "in one or two years".
The South-South Co-operation programme kicked off by China
on Tuesday was of limited scope - $1,6-million (about R10-million) - but was
likely to rise in the coming years, he said.