Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos Lopez has raised eyebrows in Taipei by referring to Taiwan as “China-Taiwan” in a statement to the 68th UN General Assembly on Monday in New York City.
According to the copy of his speech posted on the UN’s Web site, Santos Lopez said:
“Nicaragua continues to support the just aspirations of China-Taiwan for greater participation in the various organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations.”
Nicaragua is one of seven of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies who have spoken up for Taiwan during the assembly, which ended yesterday.
It is customary for the government to ask the 23 nations it has diplomatic relations with to speak in favor of enhancing Taiwan’s participation in the international community at the UN assembly to build up global support.
An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it is “a common practice” that the nation’s diplomatic allies use “China” as the designation for Taiwan, since to them, “China” stands for “Republic of China,” not People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The allies see Taiwan as the legitimate representative of “China” because they do not recognize the PRC government, the official said.
“Sometimes they just use ‘China’ in short, but they in no way mean to say that Taiwan is part of the PRC’s territory,” the official said.
The official said Nicaragua has been active in supporting Taiwan and bilateral ties remained solid.
Santos Lopez, who has been at the UN since October 2007, did not mention Taiwan when he addressed the past two annual meetings.
Saint Lucian Minister for External Affairs Alva Baptiste said that his country notes “the increasing mutual involvement of the peoples on both sides of the China Straits” and hopes that “this will lead to normal relations beneficial to all the peoples of the world.”
Baptiste also praised Taiwan’s attendance at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) triennial assembly.
“This can be an appropriate model for the further engagement of Taiwan in international organizations, thus permitting the country to play its role more effectively in global development,” he said.
The Taiwanese delegation was invited to the ICAO assembly as a guest of ICAO president Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez who said he extended the invitation “at the suggestion of the government of China.”
The delegation is using the name “Chinese Taipei Civil Aeronautics Administration.”
Meanwhile, Belizean Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Wilfred Elrington urged the “full participation” of Taiwan in the UN at the assembly.
Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga said his country continued to seek observer status for Taiwan at the ICAO and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Denzil Douglas commended Taiwan’s efforts to advance the economic interests of countries like his own and said its participation in agencies would be meaningful.
The other allies that have voiced support for Taiwan at this year’s assembly are Paraguay, Palau, Kiribati and Burkina Faso, according to the UN Web site.