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Nicaragua vows to be staunchest supporter of Taiwan's U.N. bid

Nicaragua vows to be staunchest supporter of Taiwan's U.N. bid

Nicaraguan Ambassador to the Republic of China William M. Tapia said Monday that Nicaragua will continue to be Taiwan's staunchest supporter in the country's bid to participate in the United Nations, an issue the Taiwanese authorities hope will be put on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly slated for Sept. 16.
"The atmosphere is different this year and Nicaragua has been very supportive of Taiwan's U.N. bid, " Tapia told CNA at a function celebrating the 187th anniversary of the independence of Central America that was hosted by Tapia, along with Honduras Ambassador to the ROC Marlene Villela-Talbott, Guatemalan Ambassador to the ROC Ivan Espinoza Farfan and El Salvador Ambassador to the ROC Francisco Ricardo Santana Berrios.
Tapia was referring to the fact that Taiwan's bid this year is much more moderate under President Ma Ying-jeou's pragmatic diplomatic strategy of "modus vivendi" featuring a "diplomatic truce" with China.
By asking the U.N. General Assembly to consider the feasibility of Taiwan's participation in U.N. specialized agencies rather then seeking full membership, the bid marks a new approach by making no attempt to seek entry to the U.N. under the name Taiwan or the possibility of returning to the U.N. as the ROC.
Tapia, who assumed the post as Nicaraguan ambassador in January, said the situation is different in another respect, as three of Taiwan's diplomatic allies -- Nicaragua, the Solomon Islands and Honduras -- are members of the U.N. General Affairs Committee, the highest number of Taiwan's allies that have been on the committee since 1993.
However, he admitted that China still plays the key role on the issue, pointing out that "it all depends on China."
Commenting on Taiwan's U.N. bid, a senior diplomatic official told CNA earlier in the day that even though Ma's proposal is clearly different from previous bids, some countries might still look at the issue based on China's attitude.
Taiwan has not been a member of the U.N. since 1971, when the People's Republic of China took the China seat from the ROC. Over the past 15 years, Taiwan has failed to get the General Assembly to list the issue of Taiwan's membership on the U.N. agenda because Beijing's argument that Taiwan is part of China has prevailed.
The General Affairs Committee, comprising delegates from 28 nations, will make a decision Sept. 17 pertaining to the agenda for the next General Assembly.
Asked whether Nicaragua is concerned, like Honduras, about improved relations between Taiwan and China under Ma's "diplomatic truce" approach, Tapia said the Nicaraguan government finds Ma's approach to be "very good " and he expressed confidence in the solid bilateral relations between Nicaragua and Taiwan.
In a meeting during Ma's recent state visit to South America and the Caribbean, Honduras President Manuel Zelaya asked Ma how Taiwan's allies should react to the fact the relations between Taiwan and China have significantly improved.
Ma reiterated his idea of a "diplomatic truce" but vowed that nothing will change Taiwan's longstanding friendships. He said Taiwan will use all its energy and resources to consolidate its relations with its allies.