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‘US-China rivalry caused Nicaragua to cut ties with Taiwan’

‘US-China rivalry caused Nicaragua to cut ties with Taiwan’
Taiwanese foreign minister says US sanctions on Nicaragua probably forced it to side with Russia, China

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – The US-China rivalry caused Nicaragua to break ties with Taiwan, the self-ruled island nation’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the island’s legislature that the “severance of ties with Nicaragua had more to do with the intensifying rivalry between the US and China and less with the direct relations between Taiwan and Nicaragua.”

Joseph was replying to opposition KMT lawmaker Johnny Chiang, official Focus News reported.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega won a fourth consecutive term in elections held in November.

Joseph said Washington had announced a series of sanctions on Nicaragua after the election results that “was probably why Ortega had decided to ally himself with China and Russia and end ties with Taiwan.”

Early this month, Nicaragua resumed diplomatic ties with China, leaving Taiwan with 14 diplomatic allies, most of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It may also set a precedent for other countries such as Honduras, which has been mulling a switch to China but faces pressure from the US.

Taiwan has now lost eight diplomatic allies since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016 – Burkina Faso, Panama, Sao Tome and Principe, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Nicaragua.

Ever since Joseph, who also faces sanctions from China, took office in 2018, six of the eight of Taiwan’s allies broke ties with the island nation.

“The timing for announcing the diplomatic switch was also carefully chosen as it was the first day of the US-held Summit for Democracy in which Taiwan, instead of China, had been invited to attend,” Joseph told the Taiwanese legislature.

He, however, said: “Deepening unofficial ties with like-minded countries was just as important as maintaining diplomatic relations.”

Opposition lawmakers demanded that Joseph step down from his position.

Taiwan’s relations with world powers such as Japan, the US and EU had made significant strides over the years, he said, lauding them as accomplishments that should be recognized by the public.

When pressed by the lawmakers whether he would resign if Taiwan lost another ally, Joseph said: “I will do my best (to make sure it won’t happen).”

source: News Feed
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