Nicaragua has become the latest nation to cut diplomatic ties and any form of official contact or relation with Taiwan after the Nicaragua Foreign Ministry announced that it "recognizes that there is only one single China". While Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying praised the move and said it was the "right choice" that Nicaragua's decision was "in line with the global trend", Taiwanese officials say that they are "deeply saddened" that Nicaragua has chosen to "disregard many years of friendship".
With the latest move, Taiwan's list of diplomatic allies has dropped from 21 to 14 since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016. Before Nicaragua, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands were the latest countries to cut ties with Taiwan in favor of the People's Republic of China in 2019. While the People's Republic of China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province to be eventually reunified with the mainland, Taiwan sees itself as a democratically-governed independent country although Taiwan has not formally declared independence from the mainland yet. Nicaragua originally recognized the People's Republic of China in December of 1985 but resumed relations with Taiwan in late 1990.
Nicaragua's cutting of ties with Taiwan comes just days after the United States of America's State Department called for democracies to expand engagement and relations with Taiwan. Following Nicaragua's announcement, the US State Department criticized the decision, saying that it did not reflect the will of the Nicaraguan people as the government and president were not freely elected. The Nicaraguan elections were criticized by some observers to have lacked transparency and democratic legitimacy after several ports suggested that some presidential contenders were detained.
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