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Ortega vows to respect U.N. referendum result

Nicaraguan leader to attempt dual recognition of Taiwan, China

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, left, accepts a gift from President Chen Shui-bian yesterday in Managua, Nicaragua.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, left, accepts a gift from President Chen Shui-bian yesterday in Managua, Nicaragua.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said yesterday that his government would respect the result of the proposed referendum on whether to apply for membership in the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan" and would take "suitable complementary actions" after the referendum is held on March 22 along with the presidential election.
Moreover, the Nicaraguan president affirmed that Managua would not break ties with Taiwan in order to establish relations with the People's Republic of China.
Ortega made the statements during a joint news conference with Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) Tuesday evening (Nicaragua time) at the headquarters of the governing Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSNL), which now doubles as the presidential office.
The news conference, which was moderated by Coordinator of the Council for Communication and Citizenship and first lady Rosario Murillo and attended by numerous other Taiwan and Nicaraguan officials, featured the signing of a joint communique between Ortega and Chen, reviewing the results of the Taiwan head of state's two day state visit.
During the news conference, Ortega read key points of the joint communique, including point eight, which stated that both countries "affirm the high value that democracy has for the development of the people and the necessity for the deepening of democratic processes in order to ensure amplified and effective popular participation in their respective countries."
"President Ortega and President Chen recognize the important effort and achievements that their respective governments have made in deepening their democratic systems and the people's direct participation," said the Nicaraguan president.
"I especially wish to emphasize that the content of such direct participation includes such methods as Taiwan's referendum on entering the United Nations," Ortega added.
In response to a question from a Taiwan journalist on why Nicaragua had not signed the petition this year to place the question of Taiwan's U.N. membership on the U.N. General Assembly agenda, Ortega related that he had asked Chen about Taiwan's various political forces and factions and their positions, and had arrived at a position on the issue.
Ortega first noted that the holding of any referendum is a domestic matter for Taiwan in which Nicaragua, as a friendly nation, should not interfere.
The Nicaraguan president stated that "since there will be a direct referendum on Taiwan's entry into the United Nations on March 22, we will await its results and we will respect the decision of the Taiwan people and we will examine our position and take suitable complementary action at that time."
Chen later noted that, in over 10 hours of discussions with the Nicaraguan president since his arrival Monday morning, the two leaders had discussed Taiwan's application to join the U.N., the controversy over the U.N. referendum, the question of a new Taiwan constitution, cross-strait relations with the People's Republic of China the triangular relationship between Taiwan, the PRC and the United States and the difference between the "great China mentality" and "Taiwan-centrism."
The Taiwan president observed that Ortega "had appreciated the difference between 'entering' the United Nations and 'returning to' the United Nations and had not only affirmed our referendum on entering the United Nations under the name of 'Taiwan' but said that his government would respect the result."
In response to a question by a Nicaraguan reporter, Chen stated that he believed that the Sandinista government's position of respect for the eventual results of the proposed referendum on entering the United Nations under the name of "Taiwan" was due to a shared commitment to "the universal values of democracy, freedom, human rights, peace and justice" and not related to anyone can or cannot do for the other side.
Ortega acknowledged that he was also actively working to establish formal ties with the People's Republic of China under the policy of "dual recognition."
However, the Nicaraguan leader vowed that Managua "will no longer accept any attached conditions," including demands that Managua break ties with Taipei, if it established formal links with the PRC.
Responding to Ortega's statement, Chen said that he was not opposed to dual recognition and stated that if Ortega was successful in achieving the first case of dual recognition, he would "make his greatest contribution to the world."
Ortega recalled that the Sandinista government had initially maintained ties with Taiwan after it took power in 1979 until 1985 when Nicaragua was under indirect military attack and under pressure from the administration of United States President Ronald Reagan, and needed to establish ties with the PRC to counter the aggressive moves of "U.S. imperialism."
After Nicaraguan President Violeta Chamorro re-established ties with Taipei after replacing Ortega in 1990, Ortega said, he affirmed his intention to retain ties with Taiwan in all of his subsequent presidential campaigns.
"Now my policy is to retain diplomatic relations with Taiwan and at the same time work to establish ties with the People's Republic of China, but we will no longer accept additional conditions," said the Nicaraguan president.
Instead, Ortega stressed that Beijing cannot demand that Managua break ties with Taipei as a condition for re-establishing ties with China and should accept dual recognition. "In small countries like Taiwan and Nicaragua, the solidarity of the people is a stronger force than weapons," Ortega said, who said that "war is terrible" and declared that he opposed purchasing weapons, as it is more important to take the money to "fight our real enemy of poverty, cut unemployment and reduce the birth and death rate."
Moreover, Ortega stated that his analysis was that "the chances of Taiwan being attacked are low," citing the interdependence between Taiwan and the PRC in trade, investment and personnel movements and said that he believed that the Taiwan Strait problem would be resolved by peaceful means.
In response, Chen cautioned that the PRC regime is not subject to monitoring by parliament or press and that Taiwan's friends should remain aware of the possibility of an "irrational" action by the PRC leadership.
Chen also stressed that Taiwan had no choice but to retain a sufficient self-defense capability
However, Chen also stated that "the position of the Taiwan government is clear that we hope to link up with good friends all over the world, but we do not wish to see cases in which countries have to break good relations with other countries in order to be friends with Taiwan."

Updated : 2021-07-25 07:40 GMT+08:00