Nicaragua will not abandon Taiwan, Nicaraguan Ambassador William Tapia said yesterday, adding that the Central American nation will not be “bought by dollars.”
Tapia made the remarks at a gathering with the media at the Nicaraguan embassy in Taipei, amid mounting concerns that the nation’s other diplomatic allies could follow in the footsteps of the Dominican Republic, which last month switched diplomatic recognition to China.
Nicaragua is one of Taiwan’s 19 diplomatic allies. The two nations resumed diplomatic ties in 1990 after then-Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega — who is also the incumbent president — switched recognition to Beijing in 1985.
“We have never thought about leaving Taiwan. Why would we leave Taiwan? It is our best ally... My president [Ortega] has said that as long as he is president of Nicaragua, we [will] never abandon Taiwan,” Tapia said.
Tapia said he did not understand why his country has been repeatedly singled out every time Taiwan lost a diplomatic ally.
“I’m very proud to say that among all the Latin American countries, Nicaragua is the best. We [Nicaraguans] are sincere. If I say I love you, that means I love you. If I say I won’t betray you, I won’t betray you... When we make a commitment, we make a commitment,” he said.
While acknowledging that Nicaragua is facing strong pressure from Beijing, Tapia said he did not think Ortega would succumb to pressure.
Tapia said the Taiwanese government does not need to worry about losing his country just because of a Chinese-led interoceanic canal project in Nicaragua, which was inaugurated in 2014.
“You’re always worried about that canal. You know why it’s going slowly? Because we’re not going to get any pressure from any country. If we had surrendered to China’s pressure, we would have had that canal a long, long time ago,” he said.
Although some countries’ leaders might pledge commitment to Taipei while signing a deal with Beijing, Tapia said his government is not “two-faced” and that it “will not be bought by dollars.”
“We are people with dignity, we are people with words and we are people with commitment,” he added.
Turning to recent demonstrations in Nicaragua over pension reform, which have turned violent and resulted in many deaths, Tapia said his government has called for peace and dialogue after the situation became chaotic due to the circulation of fake news on social media.
Despite the protests, Nicaragua is still running normally, he said, adding that he hopes the rest of the world can support his government’s call for peace.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be
A promotional event for the launch of a drinks store led to police questioning a 26-year-old woman surnamed Chang (張), the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. Police said that they questioned Chang and forwarded the case to prosecutors, accusing her of producing, distributing, broadcasting or selling pornography. Police said she faces charges related to the alleged distribution of indecent photographs on Twitter and using overtly sexual innuendos to promote the store on Monday night. Officers stumbled upon the content during a routine Internet “patrol.” Chang faces a prison sentence of up to two years and up to a NT$90,000 fine if found guilty