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Taiwan Breaks Off Relations With Chad

Taiwan has broken off diplomatic relations with the central African country of Chad.

The Taiwanese foreign ministry Saturday said the break is a response to Chad's opening official ties with China.

The break in relations comes the day before Taiwan's prime minister (Su Tseng-chang) was to depart for Chad to attend the second inauguration of Chad's president, Idriss Deby.

It is not yet clear how breaking diplomatic ties will affect a joint venture between the two countries to explore oil reserves in the northern part of Chad. That deal was signed in January.

Only the Vatican and 24 nations still have full diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Most of them are small and impoverished countries in Africa, the Pacific and Latin America.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.