Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada welcomes Chinese officials, including Beijing’s top diplomat, to Managua.
China reopened its embassy in Nicaragua, a few weeks after the Central American country switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing.
That change was a political victory for China, which claimed Taiwan as part of its territory and intensified the pressure to isolate the self-governing island on the international stage.
The announcement three weeks ago leaves Taiwan with only 14 diplomatic allies, even though Taipei is strengthening ties with several unofficial Western friends, including the United States.
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada said during a ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the embassy: “You are welcome in our Nicaragua … with the assurance that both countries have a future of successes and victories in our have brotherly relationships before us. “
The new Chinese embassy will be under the command of Yu Bu, who inaugurated it at the ceremony with Moncada and other officials, including Laureano Ortega, a son of and adviser to President Daniel Ortega.
In a virtual meeting with Moncada on Friday, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he welcomed Beijing and appreciated the right decision taken by Nicaragua.
The time and conditions were there for that to happen, Wang was quoted as saying by China Daily.
China has spent decades encouraging Taiwan’s dwindling diplomatic allies to change sides, including three others in Latin America over the past few years – Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
On December 9, the Ortega administration announced that Nicaragua was following its example.
“The People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory,” Moncada said at the time.
Ortega, a fiery Marxist in his youth, ruled Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990.
He previously changed recognition to China in 1985, but a successor, Violeta Chamorro, called it back five years later.
The restoration of ties with China comes as the US and European Union tighten sanctions against Nicaragua. Ortega won a fourth term in November in elections in which his main opponents were in jail.