Nicaragua breaks diplomatic ties with Taiwan to recognize “one China”
The Nicaraguan government seized the former Taiwanese embassy and diplomatic offices, claiming they belong to China.
President Daniel Ortega’s government severed relations with Taiwan this month, saying it would only recognize the mainland government.
Before leaving, Taiwanese diplomats attempted to donate the properties to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Managua, but the government of Ortega said on Sunday evening that such a donation would be invalid and that the building in an upscale neighborhood of Managua belonged to China.
The attorney general’s office said in a statement that the attempted donation was a “maneuver and subterfuge to take what is not theirs.”
The Central American country added in early December that it would only officially recognize China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
“There is only one China,” the Nicaraguan government said in a statement announcing the change.
“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.”
The move increased Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation on the international stage, even as the island stepped up official exchanges with countries like Lithuania and Slovakia, which do not officially recognize Taiwan as a country.
Today, Taiwan still has 14 official diplomatic allies.
China has poached Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in recent years, reducing the number of countries that recognize the democratic island as a sovereign nation.
China is against Taiwan, which represents itself in world forums or in diplomacy. The Solomon Islands chose to recognize China in 2019, cutting diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Taiwan is touting itself as a defender of democracy, while Ortega was re-elected in November in what the White House called a “pantomime election.”
Nicaragua established diplomatic relations with Taiwan in the 1990s, when President Violeta Chamorro took power after defeating Ortega’s Sandinista movement at the polls.
Ortega, who was re-elected to power in 2007, has so far maintained ties with Taipei.