Nicaragua Ends Diplomatic Relations With Taiwan, Recognizes 'There Is Only One China'
22:52 GMT 09.12.2021 (Updated: 00:44 GMT 10.12.2021)
Managua announced on Thursday it was ending its policy of recognizing Taiwan, also called the Republic of China (ROC), and would begin solely recognizing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing as the representative of all of China.
"The government of the Republic of Nicaragua declares that it recognizes there is only one China existing in the world," Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said on Thursday.
"The People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government, which represents all of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory," he added. "Today, the government of the Republic of Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan and will cease all official contact or relations."
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry, soon noted on Twitter that the Chinese and Nicaraguan governments were engaged in talks in the city of Tianjin.
Taiwan's de facto foreign ministry expressed its "pain and regret" at Nicaragua's decision in a Thursday statement, adding that it has always been a loyal and reliable friend of Nicaragua.
With Nicaragua's decision, just 14 nations continue to formally recognize the ROC as the legitimate Chinese government, most of which are either small Pacific island nations or Caribbean nations, and all of which fall under the domineering hand of Washington. The US switched its recognition in 1979, but has continued to provide open but informal military and political support for the ROC sufficient to maintain its autonomy from Beijing.
The government in Taipei is all that survives of the Chinese republic founded in 1912 when the Xuantong Emperor resigned amid a mass uprising by liberal political forces. The ROC never totally reunified China, however, and after joining up with the Communist Party of China to fend off the invasion by imperial Japan during World War II, steadily lost ground to the communists until the PRC was declared in 1949 and established control over the entire mainland, as well as Hainan.
However, another is likely to soon switch sides, as Honduras' president-elect, Xiomara Castro
, has also expressed her intent to establish relations with Beijing as a gateway to economic development.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who in the 1980s sided with the Soviet Union against China in what at the time was a fiercely territorial split in the global communist movement, maintained his policy
of dealing with Taiwan after returning to office in 2007, expressing indignance that Beijing had made relations with it conditional upon rejection of Taipei.
However, times are different in 2021: with China and Russia no longer at odds, and the US clamping down with new economic sanctions
after Ortega's reelection victory last month, which Washington called fraudulent, Ortega's decision makes considerably more sense. It could also win Chinese financial support for a proposed second
transcontinental canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans via the San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua.