Nicaragua seizes former Taiwan embassy to give it to China TELE HAITI
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — The Nicaraguan government has seized the former embassy and diplomatic offices of Taiwan, saying they belong to China.
President Daniel Ortega’s government broke off relations with Taiwan this month, saying it would recognize only the mainland government.
Before departing, Taiwanese diplomats attempted to donate the properties to the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Managua.
But Ortega's government said late Sunday that any such donation would be invalid and that the building in an upscale Managua neighborhood belongs to China.
The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that the attempted donation was a “manuever and subterfuge to take what doesn’t belong to them.”
Taiwan's Foreign Relations Ministry condemned the “gravely illegal actions of the Ortega regime,” saying the Nicaraguan government had violated standard procedures by giving Taiwanese diplomats just two weeks to get out of the country.
It said Taiwan “also condemns the arbitrary obstruction by the Nicaraguan government of the symbolic sale of its property to the Nicaraguan Catholic church.”
Msgr. Carlos Avilés, vicar of the archdiocese of Managua, told the La Prensa newspaper that a Taiwanese diplomat had offered the church the property, saying, “I told him there was no problem, but the transfer was still in the legal process.”
The Central American country said in early December it would officially recognize only China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory.
“There is only one China,” the Nicaraguan government said in a statement announcing the change. “The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory.”
The move increased Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation on the international stage, even as the island has stepped up official exchanges with countries such as Lithuania and Slovakia, which do not formally recognize Taiwan as a country. Now, Taiwan has 14 formal diplomatic allies remaining.