China and Nicaragua re-establish diplomatic relations
On December 10, 2021 in Tianjin China and Nicaragua signed the "Joint Communiqué on the restoration of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Nicaragua" during the meeting between the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and a Nicaraguan delegation led by son of President Daniel Ortega and Presidential Advisor for Investment, Trade and International Cooperation, Laureano Ortega Murillo.
Nicaragua thus recognized Chinese territorial unity and interrupted diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which had been restored in 1990 under the former presidency of Violeta Barrios Torres de Chamorro.
The US State Department said Nicaragua's decision to terminate diplomatic relations with Taiwan does not mirror that of the Nicaraguan people because it was not adopted democratically.
Following the signing of the joint communiqué, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met Nicaragua's Foreign Minister Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres online and stated that countries that still have relations with Taiwan would be under pressure from the US.
The US, despite having recognized Chinese territorial unity since 1979, is Taiwan's largest supplier of defense weapons and has repeatedly expressed concern over this political issue.
Taiwan currently maintains diplomatic relations with 14 countries: Guatemala, Honduras, the Holy See, Haiti, Paraguay, Eswatini, Tuvalu, Nauru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Belize, Marshall Islands and Palau.
The restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua could be an opportunity to promote the Nicaragua Canal in the New Silk Road as an alternative route to the Panama Canal.
The One Belt One Road initiative was first launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 and extended to Latin America in 2017.
Since then, China has become the largest trading partner of Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay. Panama since 2017, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador since 2018 have interrupted diplomatic relations with Taiwan and have increased the Chinese presence in the construction, telecommunications, electricity and banking sectors.
Chinese investments in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2005 to 2019 reached 130 billion dollars, of which 60 in Brazil and almost 27 in Peru. Energy projects represent 56% of all investments and those in the mining sector 28%.
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