TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced on Tuesday (Aug. 22) that Taiwan would immediately withdraw from the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) in order to “uphold national sovereignty and dignity.”
The decision follows a proposal introduced by Nicaragua to expel Taiwan from the parliament and give China permanent observer status.
MOFA condemned the move, saying it “seriously damages the years of cooperation and friendship between Taiwan and the Central American people.” The ministry also called it another of China’s attempts to undermine democracy in the region.
Since Taiwan joined the parliament in 1999, it has worked with member countries to promote bilateral and regional cooperation projects and foster regional prosperity and development, MOFA said.
Taiwan will not succumb to China's intimidation, the ministry said, adding that it will “uphold its values of freedom and democracy, actively collaborate with allied nations and like-minded countries, work together to maintain regional peace and stability, and strive for Taiwan's rightful international space and status.”
U.S. Senator Jim Risch, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement on Friday (Aug. 18), urging members of PARLACEN “to consider the negative impact” on the region if China was included in the parliament.
“Taiwan's participation contributes to PARLACEN's efforts towards democratic governance, peace, and integration in the region," the U.S. lawmakers said.
The congress members warned that the "presence of the CCP would make a mockery of the founding principles of the PARLACEN and the democratic aspirations of the people of its member countries.”
Of the six PARLACEN members, Guatemala is the only country that still maintains diplomatic ties with Taiwan.