By Karol Suarez and Isa Soares, CNN Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT) December 10, 2021
(CNN)Nicaragua’s government has broken off diplomatic relations with Taiwan, declaring “that there is only one China in the world.”
“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China and Taiwan is an undoubted part of the Chinese territory,” Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said in a televised announcement on Thursday.
“The government of the Republic of Nicaragua breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan as of today and stopped having any contact or official relationship,” he said.
To try to force Taiwan’s hand, Beijing has spent the past 40 years trying to isolate the island by chipping away at its diplomatic allies with offers of support.
In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry expressed “pain and regret” at the news and said it would in turn sever diplomatic relations with Nicaragua, halt bilateral cooperation, and evacuate staffers from the country.
“The Ortega presidency disregarded the long-term friendship between Taiwanese and Nicaraguan that shared weal and woe. We are very sorry to see that,” it said, referring to Nicaragua’s recently reelected leader Daniel Ortega.
“Taiwan as a part of international society has the right to diplomatic relations with other countries. We will continue to promote “Steadfast Diplomacy” to expand our international surviving space, dedicating ourselves into maintaining regional peace and stability, fighting for the international status that we deserve, and protecting this nation’s interests and the benefit of the people,” the statement also said.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has steadily ramped up its global influence and outreach. Meanwhile, recent US presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden have sought to bolster Taiwan on the world stage with large arms sales and high profile visits by US officials.
Nicaragua’s announcement leaves a little more than a dozen countries worldwide that maintain official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, including fellow Central American countries Honduras and Guatemala.
This is a developing story.
Reporting contributed by CNN’s Philip Wang in Atlanta and Matt Rivers in Mexico City.
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