Ortega’s Break with Taiwan, the “Most Generous” Donor

Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo’s son, Laureano Ortega (l), signed the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with China. Photo: The Presidency.

Ortega’s sons appear in China sealing the geopolitical alignment of the regime, Taiwan regrets the “contempt” after decades of cooperation.

By Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – Hours after Foreign Minister Denis Moncada announced Nicaragua’s break of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, brothers Laureano and Rafael Ortega Murillo, children of the ruling couple, met with representatives of the Government of the People´s Republic of China, in the northern city of Tianjin, about 200 kilometers from Beijing, with the purpose of re-establishing relations with the Asian giant.

The Government of Taiwan, for its part, regretted Nicaragua breaking off diplomatic relations and the “contempt” after the long friendship between the two peoples.

During the eighties, the Ortega government broke relations with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China. However, the international relations of the Sandinista Government were aligned around the Soviet Union and the bloc of European socialist countries, while Beijing maintained a distant relationship, providing little economic cooperation to the first Ortega government (1985-1990).

But Taiwan’s “long friendship” with Nicaragua can be measured in the many millions of dollars, which were given to Ortega with few conditions even after the Ortega repression and massacre against the citizen rebellion of 2018, which damaged several alliances and international support to the regime.

Thus, while most of the international community condemned the abuse of power and human rights violations in Nicaragua, the Government of Taiwan remained loyal to the Ortega regime, who today turns his back on it.

Indeed, the Ambassador of Taiwan, Jaime Chin Mu-Wu, was regularly seen in the official propaganda media; one day donating houses; another announcing the “good news” of how his country had financed educational infrastructure or opening maternity houses in rural areas.

Taiwan, the most generous

For two consecutive years (2020, and the first three quarters of 2021), Taiwan was the most generous of bilateral donors to the Nicaraguan public sector.

According to the Foreign Cooperation Official Report (ICOE 2020), of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), last year, the small country installed on the island of Formosa provided 27.9 million dollars (45.1% of the 61.8 million dollars received by the public sector), to which are added 0.1 million donated to the private sector (the report does not specify to whom or for what), with which the island’s contribution rose to 28 million donated in 2020.

Foreign Minister Denis Moncada Colindres after bestowing a commendation to the Ambassador of Taiwan in Nicaragua, Jaime Chin-Mu Wu. Photo: Taken from El 19 Digital.

Under the heading of commercial relations, between January and September of this year, Nicaraguan exports to Taiwan amounted to 66.3 million dollars, and in imports, the country bought goods for 24.4 million dollars from Taiwan, according to official data published on the BCN website.

But none of that was useful to prevent the Ortega regime from turning its back on them.

Ortega’s rapprochement with China

In the last fifteen years, several official missions carried out work-visits to China, seeking loans, donations and investments, but at all levels of the State of the People’s Republic of China the answer was the same: as long as Nicaragua did not break relations with Taiwan and establish diplomatic relations with China, there would be no relations of state economic cooperation.

In 2013, the Nicaraguan regime granted the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd. (also known as HKND Group), a concession to build an interoceanic canal, at an initial cost of 40 billion dollars, which would later go up to 50 billion and finally, did not materialize.

Meanwhile, trade between Nicaragua and China grew slowly and although Ortega and Murillo’s children have maintained relations with Chinese businessmen to encourage them to invest in Nicaragua, especially after the United States sanctions against high-government officials, no relevant investment has materialized.

Finally, this December 9, a joint statement that was released by the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Relations of China, Hua Chunying, notes that as of December 10, 2021, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nicaragua “decided to provide each other, from the date of signing of the communique, mutual recognition and reestablish diplomatic relations at the level of Ambassadors.

“The Government of the People´s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China, Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. This is a fact based on historical and legal grounds, and constitutes a commonly recognized norm of international relations,” the text adds.

So that “the Government of Nicaragua recognizes and is committed to abide by the one-China principle, breaks its so-called ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan, re-establishes diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and is committed to not have any other relation or contact of an official nature with Taiwan,” the statement continues.

They add that “it is the right option in accordance with the global trend and is supported by the peoples,” so that “China highly appreciates this decision and is willing to strengthen it, based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence, friendly cooperation in diverse areas with Nicaragua, for the benefits of both countries and peoples,” they underlined.

Taiwan regrets the “contempt” of Nicaragua

“A long friendship and successful cooperation that benefitted both peoples were scorned by the Ortega Government. Taiwan remains unyielding and will continue to be a force for good in the world,” regretted the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry on its official Twitter account.

The Nicaraguan Executive, until now an ally of Taiwan, announced that it recognized “that there is only one China and that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

“We regret very much the breaking of diplomatic ties with Nicaragua,” added Taiwan Foreign Ministry.

The loss of Taiwan’s allies

With the announcement, made through a statement signed by the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, the Central American country joins others in the region such as Panama, El Salvador, and before Costa Rica, which in recent years broke ties with Taiwan to align themselves with the Chinese position.

With Nicaragua’s break, Taiwan sees how the number of countries that recognized it as an independent state is reduced to 14, including several Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras or Paraguay.

Historically, relations between Nicaragua and China or Taiwan have been sporadic, but since 1990 they remained with Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of State pointed out in a press release that the break in ties between Nicaragua and Taiwan, deprives Nicaraguans of “a solid partner in their democratic and economic growth.”

Taiwan’s relations with diplomatic partners in the Western Hemisphere “provide significant economic and security benefits to the citizens of those countries,” the State Department notes.

“We encourage all countries that value democratic institutions, transparency, the rule of law and the promotion of economic prosperity for their citizens to expand their engagement with Taiwan,” the US officials added.

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