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Daniel Ortega, Taiwan president joke of love affair

Daniel Ortega, Taiwan president joke of love affair

Nicaragua's leftist president says he's trying for a diplomatic feat no one else in the world has been able to carry off: formal relations with both China and Taiwan.
Daniel Ortega _ an ally of mainland China's communist government during the 1980s _ assured the visiting Taiwanese president Monday night that he would try to establish relation with the People's Republic of China, "but not if it depended on severing ties with Taiwan."
So far, that's been impossible. China insists that Taiwan is a renegade province and refuses to have formal diplomatic ties with countries that recognize it as an independent country.
Taiwan's Chen Shui-bian said he liked the idea, saying that Ortega would become "the biggest fighter for democracy in the world" if he could pull it off.
The two appeared at a news conference after Chen promised a broad aid package for Nicaragua _ one of 24 countries, most small, whose relations Taiwan counts on to maintain its recognition as an independent state.
Both China and Taiwan routinely offer generous grants, loans and investments in the diplomatic battle.
Ortega is one of the free-market island's most unusual, if newfound allies. He led a Marxist government in the 1980s that had relations with Beijing _ ties that conservative governments of the 1990s shifted to Taiwan.
Since retaking office, Ortega has joined a bloc led by the socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela.
Chen, who visited several areas of Nicaragua in Ortega's Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle, insisted such ideological differences pose no problems.
We had such deep conversations ... it was as if we were in love," Chen quipped.
"It didn't just seem that way," Ortega countered. "We are in love _ with justice, work and peace."


Updated : 2021-02-28 18:42 GMT+08:00