How many – and where – diplomatic missions are established can be an important signal of priorities and challenges for a country’s foreign policy. For example, of the 61 countries included in the Lowy Institute’s Global Diplomacy Index, Ireland has boosted its network the most since 2017, opening eight new posts in what its foreign minister has labelled Ireland’s “Brexit strategy”.

Meanwhile, Turkey is another country pouring resources into diplomacy, adding six posts since 2017, suggesting an increasingly ambitious foreign policy and moves to diversify beyond its NATO allies.

And as this chart below shows, Beijing’s efforts to isolate Taipei politically are clear: China opened new embassies in Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the Gambia, and São Tomé and Príncipe – all five now former diplomatic friends of Taipei.