I.There Is No Diplomatic Relations Between China and Sao Tome and Principe at Present.
China established diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe on July 12, 1975. On May 6, 1997 Sao Tome and Principe Government and the Taiwan authorities signed a joint communiqué on the establishment of the so-called diplomatic relations, declaring that the two sides would establish "diplomatic relations" the following day. Although this action evoked strong repercussions in Sao Tome and Principe and was opposed by the cabinet, the main political parties, and personalities of various circles, the Sao Tome and Principe authorities at the top refused to redress the wrong decision. On July 11, the charge d'affaires ad interim of the Chinese Embassy in Sao Tome and Principe made solemn representations to the Sao Tome and Principe government. He pointed out that by establishing the so-called diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Sao Tome and Principe totally violated the principles of the joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sao Tome and Principe, as well as the promises made by the Sao Tome and Principe side that "the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China", and severely damaged the foundation of the friendly cooperative relations between the two countries. The Chinese Government lodged severe protests to the Sao Tome and Principe Government, and decided to suspend its diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe on the very day. The implementation of all the agreements between the two governments was also stopped at the same time. After China suspended its diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe, the staff members of the Chinese Embassy, the engineering specialists and the medical team sent by China to Sao Tome and Principe were withdrawn in succession.
II. Bilateral Relations before the Suspension of Diplomatic Relations
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sao Tome and Principe, the bilateral relations have developed smoothly. Pinto Da Costa, the then president of Sao Tome and Principe visited China in 1975 and 1983. President Miguel Dos Anjos Trovoada visited China in June 1993. On the other hand, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Gong Dafei visited Sao Tome and Principe in 1981, followed by Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen in 1997.
The Chinese Government provided assistance within its means to Sao Tome and Principe by undertaking projects such as the agricultural development project, the People's Palace, a training center for bamboo and straw weaving, school renovations, etc. The two countries signed a trade agreement, but due to the small size of the domestic market and the shortage of foreign currencies in Sao Tome and Principe, there was not much trade between the two countries and the trade volume was very small.
The two countries signed an agreement on cultural cooperation. A Chinese acrobatic troupe and a song and dance ensemble once visited Sao Tome and Principe. The Sao Tome and Principe football team visited China. From 1985 to 1997, China had received 25 Sao Tome and Principe students, and had sent 12 batches of medical teams, a total of 171 medical workers, to Sao Tome and Principe from 1976 to 1997.