Wed, Nov 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Nation not buying Nicaraguan bonds: MOFA

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday dismissed allegations that the government is planning to purchase US$280 million of bonds from the Nicaraguan government, calling it a “classic example of fake news.”

Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Director-General Alexander Tah-ray Yui said the Nicaraguan government has not asked Taipei to buy any bonds, nor does the government have plans to purchase them.

Yui said the allegation stemmed from a report by the Nicaraguan weekly Confidencial, and that shortly after the article’s publication, Ambassador to Nicaragua Wu Chin-mu (吳進木) in an interview with the paper denied the rumors.

Taiwan has maintained several cooperation projects with Nicaragua, but it has no plans to purchase the Central American nation’s bonds, Yui quoted Wu as saying in the interview published on Sunday last week.

Citing two diplomatic sources, Confidencial on Oct. 26 reported that Taiwan would buy the bonds to help cover a drop in government revenue due to an ongoing political crisis facing the administration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

Confidencial said as the Ortega administration faces growing international isolation, Taiwan would help Nicaragua in accordance with its “checkbook diplomacy,” under which the newspaper said that Taiwan was willing to offer generous financial aid to maintain diplomatic ties regardless of whether a regime is governed by dictators or human rights violators.

Since April, Nicaragua has descended into nationwide chaos due to pension reforms, Yui said, adding that the Taiwanese government is closely monitoring the situation and hopes that Nicaraguan government could solve the matter by engaging in dialogue with different sectors of society.

“Currently, the situation in Nicaragua has gradually stabilized and Taiwan will continue to pay close attention to the matter,” Yui said.

Nicaragua is one of Taiwan’s 17 diplomatic allies. The two nations resumed diplomatic ties in 1990 after Ortega, who was also president at the time, switched recognition to Beijing in 1985.

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