Nicaragua has cut ties with Taiwan in favor of China despite the United States trying hard to boost economies in Central America in its bid to stop migration.
Analysts say Washington’s sanctions on the region’s dictatorial regimes are increasingly pushing them into the hands of China.
China is also responding favorably. Last week, Beijing sent one million doses of coronavirus vaccines to Nicaragua.
Surprisingly, Nicaragua’s decision comes days after the US called for democratic countries to “expand engagement” with Taiwan.
It seems Daniel Ortega’s regime never liked the country’s relationship with Taiwan. Ortega’s Sandinista movement had cut ties with Taiwan in 1985. But, five years later, Violeta Chamorro’s administration had re-established the relationship.
Analysts say Honduras would also follow in the footsteps of Nicaragua. Honduras’ president-elect Xiomara Castro repeatedly vowed during the election campaign that her government would end the relationship with Taiwan.
Honduras will become the third Central American country to do so. El Salvador did it a year ago. El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, many of whose officials are facing corruption charges in Washington, is increasingly siding with China.
Reports say El Salvador has rolled out a red carpet welcome for Chinese companies. According to Reuters, China has made US$500 million in investments in the Central American country.