The Nicaraguan government announced on Thursday that it was suspending its diplomatic relations with Taiwan and now recognizing a “united China.”
“An integral part”
“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory,” said a statement signed by Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Dennis Monkada.
The government of President Daniel Ortega “suspends its diplomatic relations with Taiwan from today and suspends any kind of contact or official relations,” it added.
The Taiwanese Foreign Minister reacted by expressing his “pain and sorrow” from the bottom of his heart for this “unilateral” decision, accusing Managua of denying its long-standing “friendship” with Taipei.
The development – announced unexpectedly and unannounced – comes as the United States tightens sanctions on Daniel Ortega, who was re-elected in November for a fourth consecutive term after security services detained virtually all potential opponents. of.
To date, Taiwan has worked with Nicaragua, particularly in the areas of health, agriculture and social housing. Several island companies have been established in the Central American state since the 1990s.
Only 14 countries now officially recognize Taiwan, where nationalist troops took refuge in 1949 after their defeat by Mao Zedong Communists.
Beijing has always considered the island an insurgent province of China, destined to reunite with the mainland in the future, by force if necessary.
Escalation of tensions
Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have escalated since the 2016 election of Taiwan’s president to Xi Ying-wen, a politician who traditionally supports the island’s declaration of independence.
Since then, Beijing has secured diplomatic recognition from Taipei in eight countries, including four in Latin America (Panama, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua).
Honduras, Guatemala and Belize are the last remaining allies in Taiwan in the Latin American region.
In Honduras, President-elect Siomara Castro, who will take office on January 27, has vowed to consider ending relations between Tegucigalpa and Taipei in Beijing’s favor.
A blow to Washington
However, she has not repeated it since she won the election and her associates have hinted that she will avoid it so as not to disrupt relations with the US.
The severance of Nicaragua’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan is a blow to Washington.
The Chinese news agency New China recently reported that delegations from Nicaragua and China were holding talks in the city of Tianjin today.