- BBC News World
“There is only one China in the world,” Nicaragua’s foreign minister said at a press conference on Thursday.
Through a statement read by Minister Denis Moncada, the government of Daniel Ortega announced its decision to cut long-standing diplomatic ties with Taiwan to ensure its loyalty to Beijing.
“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the entire Chinese territory,” the letter said.
He adds that Nicaragua “severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan as of today and stopped any official contact or relationship.”
The Nicaraguan government established diplomatic relations with Taiwan, turning away from China in the 1990s, when Violetta Chamorro took power after defeating Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista regime at the polls.
Until a few months ago, Ortega maintained close cooperative relations with Taipei since returning to the government in 2007.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry praised Nicaragua’s decision and restored diplomatic relations with the Central American country, Reuters reported, citing Chinese state media.
‘Painful and unfortunate’
Taiwan, for its part, described Nicaragua’s decision as “painful,” according to the news agency. Reuters.
“In order to protect national sovereignty and dignity, my country has decided to terminate diplomatic relations with the Republic of Nicaragua,” he said in a statement issued by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“From now on, bilateral cooperation and assistance programs will be suspended, and Taiwan embassy staff and technical staff will be evacuated,” he added.
Cooperation between the two countries mainly focused on issues of health, agriculture and social housing. Many Taiwanese companies have established themselves in Nicaragua since the 1990s.
“Taiwan has always been a faithful and trustworthy friend of Nicaragua,” said the Taiwanese foreign minister, stressing that Ortega’s government “neglected many years of friendship between the peoples of Taiwan and Nicaragua,” which is “very unfortunate.”
Nicaragua’s decision leaves Taiwan with only 14 official diplomatic allies, up from 21 before Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016.
Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize are Taiwan’s last allies in Central America.
However, Xiomara Castro, the newly elected president of Honduras, who will take office on January 27, vowed during her election campaign to sever ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing, although she has not repeated that promise since her election.
Chinese nationalist forces took refuge in Taiwan in 1949 after its defeat at the hands of the Communists. Since then, the Chinese government views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will reunite the mainland country sooner or later.
Although many Taiwanese maintain that they want to remain independent, Beijing insists that both peoples belong to the same Chinese family and that Taiwan independence is not possible.
This tension between the two countries has permeated world politics, almost becoming an indicator of the state and movements of international relations.
Tensions in Nicaragua
The decision of Daniel Ortega’s government comes in the context of tension in the Central American country.
three weeks ago, Nicaragua announced its decision to withdraw from the Organization of American States (OAS), which it accused of acting contrary to its principles, after the organization passed a resolution condemning the presidential elections, which were held in early November.
Ortega was re-elected to a fourth consecutive term with 75% of the vote while the majority of the opposition was either arrested or forced into exile.
The Organization of American States questioned the elections, saying at the time “that they were not free, fair and transparent and had no democratic legitimacy.”
The Organization of American States and the European Union have both called for the release of hundreds of civilian prisoners.
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, called such elections a “pantomime”, which increased tension between the two countries.
You can now receive push notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download and activate our app so you don’t miss our best content.
“Music buff. Social media lover. Web specialist. Analyst. Organizer. Travel trailblazer.”