Taiwanese universities are willing to provide support to their Nicaraguan students who wish to remain enrolled after their country switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.
National Taiwan University (NTU), National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), National Chengchi University (NCCU) and others on Friday said that they would help with issues such as funding and part-time jobs for Nicaraguan students.
Ninety-one Nicaraguan students are enrolled in Taiwanese universities, and more than 53 percent of them receive scholarships from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while others are on scholarships funded by the International Corporation and Development Fund, the ministry said.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
In previous cases of countries switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing, the scholarships of students from the respective countries were withdrawn.
However, the four Nicaraguan students enrolled at NTU, the nine at NTNU, and the six at NCCU would be offered assistance to find solutions to possible funding issues, the schools said, joining other universities that made similar statements.
The Ministry of Education said that the students’ financial situation would likely be affected, but the “decisions of the competent authority will be respected.”
There are no Taiwanese students at universities in Nicaragua, the ministry said.
The Nicaraguan government on Thursday said that it would recognize Beijing as the only representative of China, which caused Taipei to terminate diplomatic relations with the Central American country and recall the staff at its embassy and technical mission there.
The country’s announcement to switch recognition came one month after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega won a fourth consecutive term in an election that was widely seen as controversial.
The termination of diplomatic relations with Nicaragua leaves Taiwan with 14 diplomatic allies worldwide.
In related news, Taipei Rapid Transit Corp on Friday retired an MRT train that had livery promoting Taiwan’s four Central American allies, after that number shrank to three.
The train on the Tamsui-Xinyi Line had brightly decorated cars highlighting the culture of and promoting tourism to Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The promotion was initially scheduled to run from Wednesday last week to Dec. 25, the operator of Taipei’s MRT metropolitan railway system said.
To bring more attention to the cooperation with the MRT, the Central America Trade Office in Taipei earlier this month posted a photograph on Facebook, showing Nicaragua’s then-ambassador to Taiwan Mirna Mariela Rivera Andino standing in a train car that featured her country.
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