Taiwan protests Nicaragua’s confiscation of its former assets


December 27, 2021


Image was taken from laprensa.com.ni


By Joseph Yeh | Focus Taiwan, CNA English News


TAIPEI -Taiwan’s government on Monday publicly protested a decision by the Nicaraguan government to confiscate assets formerly owed by Taiwan in the Central American country and hand them to China, after the two countries ended diplomatic relations earlier this month.

The protest was issued after Nicaraguan media made public a statement issued by the nation’s Attorney General’s Office in which the government announced its intention to confiscate all Taiwan’s former assets in the country handed to the Catholic Church of Nicaragua before departing the country, following the severance of official ties on Dec. 10.

As Nicaragua recognizes there is only “one China” in the world and it is represented by Beijing not Taipei, the office said the property now belongs to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Nicaragua media La Prensa said in a Monday report.

In response, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) lodged a strong protest and condemned the Daniel Ortega administration for confiscating the assets it handed over to the Archdiocese of Managua.

Citing Article 45 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, MOFA said in a press release that Nicaragua is required to “respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives,” after breaking diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Nicaragua’s “unlawful” confiscation and transfer of Taiwan’s former assets to the PRC is “unacceptable,” it added.

According to MOFA, Taiwan transferred its assets to the Catholic Church of Nicaragua because the Ortega government set a two-week time limit for all Taiwanese staff at its embassy and technical mission in the country to leave before Dec. 23.

Such a demand was unreasonable as it is customary for countries to take at least a month to recall their respective personnel following the severance of diplomatic relations, MOFA said.

The two-week notice given to Taiwan provided too little time to prepare for the closure of its embassy and technical mission before departing, according to the MOFA press release.

To ensure its assets were properly taken care of, Taiwan’s embassy decided to sell its property to the Archdiocese of Managua, for the symbolic amount of US$1, it noted.

Both sides sealed the property transfer deal witnessed by a local lawyer on Dec. 22, with the Catholic Church of Nicaragua promising to make good use of the assets, according to MOFA.

MOFA called on the international community to join Taiwan in condemning the “despicable” behavior of Nicaragua and China while urging all sides to help the Catholic Church of Nicaragua fight for its legal right of ownership over the property.