Sat, Aug 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Nicaragua slams China's `yellow imperialism'

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, PANAMA CITY

Nicaraguan Vice President Jaime Morales Carazo has termed as "odious" China's requirement that Nicaragua sever ties with Taiwan first before it can establish formal diplomatic relations with Beijing.

In an interview with the Nicaraguan daily El Neuvo Diario on Wednesday, Morales described China's high-handed attitude as an act of "yellow imperialism."

China has sought to resume diplomatic relations with Nicaragua since the Sandinistas returned to power earlier this year. But it has demanded that Nicaragua first sever its diplomatic ties with Taipei.

Claiming that China's economic progress has been achieved at the expense of freedom, democracy and social welfare, Morales said only 200 million of China's 1.3 billion citizens have benefited from the country's economic progress, with the remaining 1.1 billion being excluded as "non-existent."

Meanwhile, the world's leading Spanish-language news agency, EFE, reported on Thursday that Morales is scheduled to visit Taipei between Aug. 12 and Aug. 16 to strengthen bilateral relations.

He would be the first high-ranking Nicaraguan official to visit Taipei since the Sandinistas' return to power.

Morales told EFE that he will leave Managua on Aug. 10 for an official visit at the invitation of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Morales said he would express the gratitude of the Nicaraguan government and people for Taiwan's assistance in various fields.

Morales said that Taiwan has recently donated US$30 million for the building of a 30-megawatt thermal power plant to help Nicaragua solve its electricity shortage problem.

Morales said Taiwan has also promised to invest in Nicaragua's export processing zone and other development projects. He didn't elaborate.

When the Sandinista National Liberation Front was in power between 1985 and 1990, Nicaragua switched diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing. The government resumed diplomatic ties with Taiwan after former president Violeta Chamorro took power in 1990.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has repeatedly reaffirmed his determination to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, even after Costa Rica switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in June.

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