The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday lodged a protest over a statement by the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) saying that it recognized the “existence of one China.”
PARLACEN on Thursday issued a statement that was signed by its Nicaraguan speaker, in which it said there was only “one China,” and that it had established “solid and fraternal relations” with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The ministry said the statement had not gone through normal channels, and expressed concern that Chinese influence over PARLACEN — in which Taiwan is an observer — could affect Taiwan’s participation in the body.
Photo: Screen grab from PARLACEN’s Twitter page
The statement, which also appeared on Twitter, said it expressed the sentiments of the governments of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
It said that the health of each country’s population is solely the responsibility of that country’s government, and therefore China alone is responsible for the health interests of Taiwanese.
Only the PRC could represent Taiwanese in international organizations such as the WHO, it said.
“We look forward to the participation of the PRC in the Central American Integration System (SICA), as the sole representatives of the Chinese people,” it said.
The statement was issued by PARLACEN President Guillermo Daniel Ortega Reyes and Nicaraguan Representative Aida Blanco Talavera without having been discussed by the parliament, MOFA said.
The three countries mentioned in the statement are all former Republic of China allies that switched ties to Beijing in the past few years, the ministry said.
Panamanian Representative Jose Ramos Reyes said the statement did not represent the opinion of the majority of the parliament’s members.
Representatives from Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras on Thursday issued their own joint statement saying they rejected the “one China” position expressed unilaterally by Guillermo Daniel Ortega Reyes and Talavera.
MOFA yesterday said it had protested the PARLACEN statement through Taiwan’s embassy in Guatemala.
It said it has also called on PARLACEN member countries to oppose Chinese influence.
SICA has eight member states and 34 observers, including Taiwan. Taiwan became a permanent PARLACEN observer in 1999.
“It is not clear whether Nicaragua is trying to appeal to Beijing through actions such as this statement, or whether it was doing so under Beijing’s request,” a source in Taipei said yesterday. “However, it would not be easy for China to replace Taiwan within SICA.”
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