【明報專訊】THE CROSS-STRAIT DIPLOMATIC WAR has tended to intensify since Panama (once the most important of Central American countries that had diplomatic ties with Taiwan) befriended the mainland instead. Not only has Beijing vigorously beckoned to countries that have formal ties with the island, but it has also pressured those not in this category. Five countries that have diplomatic relations with the mainland have compelled the island's offices in them to downgrade, rename or relocate themselves. Taipei has planned for retaliation. The Mainland Affairs Council has imposed restrictions on mainlanders' entry into Taiwan and other measures of this kind. Some in the green camp have even suggested that Taiwan should resume its attempts to gain a United Nations seat. The island does seem poised to pursue "beacon-fire diplomacy" as the Chen Shui-bian administration did.