SMA NEWS – TAIPEI
Nicaragua’s decision last week to cut ties with Taiwan was part of a deliberate move by China to target the island’s diplomatic allies after it was excluded from a democracy summit hosted by Washington, Taiwan’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Nicaragua broke its longstanding diplomatic ties with Taiwan last week, switching allegiance to Beijing in a recognition of the Chinese Communist Party’s One China policy and reducing Taipei’s dwindling pool of international allies.
“When democratic countries were holding a democratic summit, China was excluded, China was a target, so China chose this opportunity to set about targeting our diplomatic allies,” said Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on the sidelines of a forum on regional security.
Digital Minister Audrey Tang and Taiwan’s de facto ambassador in Washington Hsiao Bi-khim represented the island at the Biden administration’s “Summit for Democracy” last week. China was not on the US State Department’s invited participants list.
“Losing a diplomatic ally is a very painful thing for us,” Wu told reporters.
China’s foreign ministry said in a statement to Reuters the comments were an attempt to “cover up the failures of separatist activities”.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the island would not bend to pressure or change its determination to uphold democracy and freedom.
“The more successful Taiwan’s democracy is, the stronger the international support, and the greater the pressure from the authoritarian camp,” she said in Taipei.