Nicaragua Breaks Relations With Taiwan, Recognizes China

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The government of Nicaragua announced Thursday that it has terminated “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan and ceased to have “any contact or official relationship,” declaring that it recognizes “there is only one single China” in the world.

“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory,” Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Colindres said in a statement.

In response, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it “deeply regrets” the Nicaraguan decision to “disregard the long-standing and close friendship” between the two nations, and that their diplomatic relations will be ended “with immediate effect”.

Taiwan would also halt all bilateral cooperation projects and aid programs, and recall staff of its embassy and technical mission in Nicaragua.

“As a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan has the right to conduct exchanges and develop diplomatic relations with other nations,” the ministry said in a statement.

It stated that Taiwan will continue to promote “steadfast diplomacy” to expand its international participation, and that it “will spare no effort” to ensure its rightful status in the international community.

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949, although Beijing considers the democratically ruled island to be part of its territory, and has threatened to bring the island under its control by force if necessary. China has ramped up military flights near Taiwan, sending more than 200 aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in October.

Nicaragua’s break with Taiwan is a blow to the United States. It follows months of worsening ties between Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Washington and came on the day the U.S. State Department said it had slapped sanctions on Nestor Moncada Lau, a national security adviser to Ortega, alleging he operates an import and customs fraud scheme to enrich members of Ortega’s government.

The U.S. State Department said Ortega’s decision to break relations with Taiwan did not reflect “the will of the Nicaraguan people” due to the nation’s recent election being a “sham,” which was unfairly elected.

“Without the mandate that comes with a free and fair election, Ortega’s actions cannot reflect the will of the Nicaraguan people, who continue to struggle for democracy and the ability to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the department said in a statement.

By Aldgra Fredly

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