Taiwan loses ally Nicaragua to China | World News

China on Friday welcomed the Central American country Nicaragua’s decision to break off ties with the self-ruled democracy, Taiwan, and resume diplomatic relationship with the mainland, saying it is the “right choice in line with the global trend”.

Nicaragua on Thursday broke its longstanding diplomatic ties with Taiwan, switching allegiance to Beijing in a recognition of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) “One China policy”, which acknowledges that there is only one China, the mainland or the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Taiwan is part of it.

Only 14 countries now have official ties with Taiwan, a rapidly reducing pool of international allies in the face of China’s expanding economic and diplomatic heft; Belize, Guatemala, Honduras are the three remaining allies Taipei has in Central America.

Taiwan responded quickly, expressing “pain and regret” at the decision, Reuters reported from Taipei, and saying that the Central American country’s president, Daniel Ortega, had disregarded the friendship between the peoples of Taiwan and Nicaragua.

Delegations from China and Nicaragua held talks in China’s Tianjin on Friday, Chinese state media reported, a day after the Nicaraguan foreign ministry said that it is breaking “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan.

“The Government of the Republic of Nicaragua declares that it recognises that in the world there is only one single China,” its foreign ministry said in an announcement released in Managua.

“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,” the statement from Nicaragua added.

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In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry was quick to welcome the decision, saying that on December 10, the two countries signed the Joint Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nicaragua.

“The two governments have decided to recognise each other and resume diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, effective from the date of signature of this communiqué,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.

“There is but one China in the world and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government representing the whole of China,” the statement said, adding: “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. These facts are grounded in history and law, and represent a universally agreed norm governing international relations.”

“This is the right choice that is in line with the global trend and has people’s support. China highly appreciates this decision,” the statement said.

China says Taiwan is a breakaway province, with no right to the trappings of a state, and has not ruled out using force to reunify it.

The Reuters report said China has stepped up pressure to win away Taiwan’s remaining allies, especially in Central America and the Caribbean, with El Salvador and the Dominican Republic going over to Beijing in 2018, and Panama the year before.

China’s ambassador at the United Nations, Zhang Jun, congratulated Nicaragua, saying Beijing commends the decision. “The One-China principle is a consensus widely accepted by the international community and allows no challenge,” Zhang said.

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