Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

MOFA dismisses criticism over aid to Central America allies

MOFA dismisses criticism over aid to Central America allies

The aid furnished by Taiwan to its Central American allies is part of bilateral cooperation programs and should not be misrepresented as "checkbook diplomacy," Foreign Affairs Minister James Huang (黃?芳) said in Nicaragua Monday.
Huang made the remarks in response to criticism that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is wasting Taiwan taxpayers' money by making various aid offers during his current three-nation visit to Central America.
Nicaragua has reportedly asked Taiwan, which seeking to bolster its diplomatic alliances, for US$400 million in investments over the next four years.
Nicaraguan Vice President Jaime Morales said Monday the request was made to Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian.
The money would be used for renewable energy projects, infrastructure, health and education, Morales said.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said Chen's visit represented the beginning of a "new era" of relations between Taiwan and Nicaragua.
However, Huang said that the president "isn't bringing any checks" during the visit and that it is "unfair" to level such criticism against him.
He pointed out that none of the aid offers made by Chen during his visit are new, noting that they are all part of programs that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been carrying out for quite some time.
They include a US$5 million loan to Honduras in support of a computerization project, a pledge to help Honduras build a hydroelectric power plant, the donation of 500 motorcycles to the Salvadoran police, and a US$1.1 million project to help Nicaragua end poverty and hunger, Huang noted, adding that the Central American allies were only making use of the opportunity of President Chen's visit to publicize the projects so as to make their citizens aware of how Taiwan is helping their countries.
For example, Huang said, even before Chen's latest visit, Taiwan had already provided US$830,000 in aid to Nicaragua under the project to fight poverty and starvation.
Huang said the project, which was launched before incumbent Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was inaugurated in January this year, is a "very important one" for Taiwan in terms of maintaining its relations with Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front.


Updated : 2021-05-14 22:12 GMT+08:00