Sunday, 9 August 2020

Taiwan stresses Central America ties with navy visit

Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua still have ties to Taiwan

A Taiwanese navy flotilla docked in Nicaragua on Monday in a high-profile visit highlighting ties with Central America and the Caribbean that are shrinking as China presses countries in the region to drop diplomatic relations.

Members of the Taiwanese navy line up in front of one of three Taiwanese Navy warships, docked at the Corinto port in Nicaragua

The three vessels — described as being on a training mission — powered into Corinto, a port town on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast, in a visit “to strengthen the ties of friendship,” Nicaraguan officials and Taiwanese diplomats said.

Nicaraguan soldiers stand guard beside three Taiwanese Navy warships, docked at the Corinto port in Nicaragua

- paying the bills -

Some of the 800 crew members who disembarked put on a Taekwondo martial arts display after an inspection by Nicaraguan military brass.

The warships were Pan Shi, a modern and sleek Fast Combat Support Ship, Pan Chao, an older, US-designed frigate, and Kuen Wing, a more recent, French-made stealth frigate.

They were to stay in port for three days, with the crew of officers, sailors and cadets participating with the Nicaraguan military in joint training activities, the Taiwanese embassy said.

It was the sixth time Taiwan has sent a “friendship flotilla” to Nicaragua.

After Nicaragua, Taiwan’s navy ships were to go on to make stops in the Marshall Islands, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

- paying the bills -

Taiwan is gradually running out of ports of call as China — which considers Taiwan a renegade province that will one day be brought back under Beijing’s control — presses countries to drop relations with Taipei.

Half the countries with which Taiwan has bilateral diplomatic relations are in Latin America and the Caribbean. And it is slowly losing ground there.

In June last year, Panama cut ties with Taiwan to open relations with China instead. Costa Rica did likewise in 2007.

Assertive China

The parts of Latin America that still have ties with Taiwan are the Central American countries of Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua; the Caribbean states of Haiti, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic, and Santa Lucia; and the South American nation of Paraguay.

Across the region, China’s increased investment and a more assertive foreign policy are being felt both economically and politically.

That trend has unsettled the United States, which views the Chinese interest as encroachment in a region that it once regarded as its backyard.

- paying the bills --

US President Donald Trump is to attend a summit of leaders across the Americas in Peru on Friday and Saturday.

White House officials said part of his focus would be on pushing back against “external economic aggression,” taken to mean China’s growing investment in the region.

Q Costa Rica
Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

Related Articles

For black and indigenous people in Central America, Black Lives Matter

(Global Voices) Indigenous and black Central Americans expressed solidarity online for...

China pledges continuous support for Costa Rica’s COVID-19 fight

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday that China will continue to...

MOST READ

Copa Airlines plan to restart some flights in mid August include Costa Rica

(Q TRAVEL) Copa Airlines, the flag carrier of Panama, said on Thursday it has received government approval to restart flights in mid-August to about...

Californian invites Afro-descendants to escape racism in Costa Rica

(QCOSTARICA) The wave of events that triggered the death of George Floyd in the United States is new evidence of the systematic racism that...

Latin America current epidemic battleground

Latin America is becoming the epicenter battleground for the Covid-19 pandemic, with sharply rising numbers of infections and deaths. Yet scant testing services in...

Kidnappings of foreign retirees in Latin America

(EXPAT FOCUS) First, this article is to put kidnappings in Latin America into perspective and not to instill fear in anyone about retiring or...

Minister says that everything was a misunderstanding …

"We already have the right to work," clarified the Minister, but commerce has to earn the right to reopen their businesses. The Minister of Planning,...

San Jose airport empty on reopening

(QCOSTARICA) Empty, but ready to receive, is the way to describe the Juan Santamaria international airport (SJO) on Saturday, August 1, the first day...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.