Washington, Sept. 24 (CNA) Nicaragua reaffirmed on Monday its commitment to maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan at a time when other countries in the region have shifted their allegiance to China under strong pressure from Beijing.
Valdrack Jaentschke, Nicaragua's vice minister of foreign affairs, said in Washington that President Daniel Ortega has publicly stated his country will continue its relations with Taiwan and that there was no need for speculation on ties between Nicaragua and Taiwan.
Jaentschke stressed that ties were strong in response to questions from Taiwanese reporters after a seminar held in Washington by the Inter-American Dialogue, a U.S.-based think tank.
When asked if Nicaragua has come under pressure from China to break ties and if it has been asked by the U.S. government to maintain relations with Taiwan, Jaentschke said Nicaragua is committed to establishing peace, security and tranquility.
"President Ortega has said and a number of (legislators) have said that we continue our relationship with Taiwan. That was said publicly this week," Jaentschke said.
"So I don't see why we need to put that in doubt. That is our formal and official position."
Following his election as president in 1984, Ortega broke relations with Taiwan to recognize China in 1985. But after he lost his bid for re-election in 1990, the new government resumed diplomatic links with Taiwan.
Ortega returned to power in 2007, but he has maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan since then.
Amid increased pressure from China, Taiwan has lost five diplomatic allies to China since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May 2016, including Panama in June 2017, the Dominican Republic in May 2018, and El Salvador last month, leaving Taiwan with only 17 allies.
The others were Sao Tome and Principe in 2016 and Burkina Faso in May 2018.