China opens its embassy in Nicaragua for the first time since 1990
China has opened an embassy in Nicaragua for the first time since 1990, acting just over three weeks after President Daniel Ortega’s government severed ties with Taiwan.
The Nicaraguan government broke off relations with the Taiwanese on December 9 and last week seized the former Taiwanese embassy and diplomatic offices, saying they belong to China. However, the new Chinese embassy is elsewhere and it is unclear what China will do with the Taiwan building.
Before leaving a week ago, Taiwanese diplomats tried to donate the property to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Managua. But the Ortega government said any such donation would not be valid and that the building of a luxury neighborhood in Managua belongs to China.
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry condemned the “grossly illegal actions of the Ortega regime,” saying the Nicaraguan government violated standard procedures by giving Taiwanese diplomats only two weeks to leave the country.
He said Taiwan “also condemns the arbitrary obstruction by the Nicaraguan government of the symbolic sale of its property to the Nicaraguan Catholic Church.”
Monsignor Carlos Avilés, vicar of the Archdiocese of Managua, told La Prensa newspaper that a Taiwanese diplomat had offered the property to the church, but added: “I told him there was no problem, but the move is still I was in court. “
The Central American country said in early December that it would officially recognize only China, which claims Taiwan is self-governing as part of its territory.
The move increased Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation on the international stage, although the island has stepped up official exchanges with countries such as Lithuania and Slovakia, which do not formally recognize Taiwan as a country. Taiwan has 14 remaining formal diplomatic allies.
China has been poaching Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in recent years, reducing the number of countries that recognize the democratic island as a sovereign nation. China opposes Taiwan’s representation in global forums or diplomacy.
“The arbitrary imprisonment of nearly 40 opposition figures since May, including seven potential presidential candidates, and the blocking of political party participation manipulated the outcome long before election day,” he said. U.S. President Joe Biden in a statement in November.