與過去台灣一般事態發展的情況一樣,國際社會也會就尼加拉瓜與中華民國斷交並承認中華人民共和國的決定發表意見。然而,外國學者、政府和媒體的一些意見卻很奇怪。

曾任台灣傅爾布萊特研究員、台灣大學訪問學者、現為哈佛大學費正清中國研究中心博士後的南樂在推特上寫道:「儘管反對黨會藉此攻擊蔡英文,但我相當肯定成千上萬的台灣人醒來後看到新聞,會認為『嗯,我不知道尼加拉瓜(過去)也認識我們…』」

這條推文是在台灣時間周五凌晨發送的,大約是在台灣民眾被突發新聞喚醒的時間。波士頓的學者怎麼可能「確定」台灣人醒來時會說什麼?

我身為外國觀察者,看到其他外國評論員高估了他們對台灣的瞭解,試圖告訴世界台灣人會說什麼,會怎麼想,讓我感到有點難過。此外,儘管部分國民黨立委呼籲外長吳釗燮下台,但民進黨實際上利用尼加拉瓜的決定來攻擊國民黨主席朱立倫。這是因為朱譴責尼加拉瓜的「惡意」(背信忘義),但只有「對中國限制台灣的國際空間深表遺憾」。民進黨認為,朱立倫應在第13屆「海峽論壇」嚴正抗議北京斷我友邦,這正給了民進黨批評朱立倫的理由。

對尼加拉瓜決定的另一個奇特反應來自美國國務院發言人普萊斯,他在一份聲明中說:「然而我們確實知道,這剝奪了尼加拉瓜人民在其民主和經濟增長方面的一個堅定夥伴。」現實是,近年來,尼加拉瓜既沒有民主增長,也沒有經濟增長。奧蒂嘉總統及其政府近年來為確保他在2021年連任而採取的鎮壓反對派和媒體的行動,受到大多數民主國家的譴責,但值得注意的是,民進黨政府並沒有直接批評奧蒂嘉,以免危及外交關係。至於經濟增長,近年來(在疫情爆發之前),管理不善、腐敗等因素導致尼加拉瓜經濟增長下滑,台灣有限的援助和貿易往來,都無法解決這一問題。

最後,路透發表了一篇關於尼加拉瓜與台灣斷交的報導,標題是「中國和尼加拉瓜重建關係,打擊美國和台灣」。這個標題沒特別之處。2017年巴拿馬與中華民國斷交時,彭博社發表了一篇題為「巴拿馬與中國建立關係,對台灣的最新打擊」的報導。2018年多明尼加與中華民國斷交時,美聯社發表題為「打擊台灣,多明尼加與中國建交」的報導、2018年薩爾瓦多與中華民國斷交時,《紐約時報》發表了一篇題為「薩爾瓦多承認中國,打擊台灣」的報導。

這表明記者們並沒有努力檢查不久前是否使用了類似的措辭來報導類似的新聞。但更重要的是,這些國家決定不承認中華民國並不是對台灣的「打擊」。與這些國家建立外交關係無助於台灣的經濟安全、軍事安全,也無助於台灣參與國際組織。台灣的財政援助通常會讓腐敗或不民主的領導人在其國家保持權力。無論是台灣政府還是反對黨,都應該傳達這樣的訊息:這不是對台灣的打擊,沒有必要由外國學者、外國政府或國際媒體來表達「遺憾」。(作者為前美國共和黨亞太區主席)

原文:

Peculiar Foreign Reactions to Nicaragua De-Recognition

By Ross Darrell Feingold

Former Asia Chairman, Republicans Abroad

Twitter: @RossFeingold

As is usual with developments in Taiwan, the international community also had to have its input with regard to Nicaragua’s decision to derecognize the Republic of China and to recognize the People’s Republic of China. However, some of the input from foreign scholars, governments, and media was peculiar.

Lev Nachman a former Fulbright Research Fellow in Taiwan and Visiting Fellow at National Taiwan University who is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Fairbank Center for China Studies tweeted that “Even though opposition parties will use this to attack Tsai, I’m fairly certain that thousands of Taiwanese will wake up, read the news, and think “Huh, I didn’t know Nicaragua (used to) recognize us…””

This tweet was sent in the early hours of Friday morning Taiwan time, around the time when here in Taiwan we awoke to the breaking news.

How can a scholar in Boston possibly be “certain” about what people in Taiwan will say when they wake up?

As a foreign commentator on Taiwan affairs myself, it disgusts me when other foreign commentators, many of whom overestimate their understanding of Taiwan, attempt to tell the world what Taiwanese people will say or think.

In addition, notwithstanding that some Kuomintang legislators called on Foreign Minister Joseph Wu to resign, the Democratic Progressive Party actually used Nicaragua’s decision to attack Kuomintang Chairman Eric Chu. This is because Chu’s response to condemn Nicaragua's “bad faith” (背信忘義), but only “strongly regret that China restricts Taiwan’s international space” (對岸中共長期以來打壓我國國際的空間,表示強烈的遺憾), combined with Chairman Chu’s speech to the Straits Forum the following day, gave the Democratic Progressive Party several reasons to criticize Chu.

Another peculiar reaction to Nicaragua’s decision came from United States Department of State spokesman Ned Price, who said in a statement “We do know, however, that this deprives Nicaragua’s people of a steadfast partner in its democratic and economic growth.” The reality is that in recent years, Nicaragua had neither democratic growth nor economic growth. President Daniel Ortega and his government’s actions to suppress opposition politicians and the media in recent years, to ensure his re-election in 2021, was condemned by most democratic countries, though notably, the Taiwan government did not criticize Ortega so as not to jeopardize diplomatic relations. As for economic growth, in recent years (prior to Covid-19), mismanagement, corruption and other factors resulted in falling economic growth in Nicaragua, which Taiwan’s limited aid and trade was unable to address.

Finally, Reuters published a report about Nicaragua’s derecognition of Taiwan with the headline “China and Nicaragua re-establish ties in blow to U.S. and Taiwan”. This headline is no surprise. In 2017 when Panama derecognized the Republic of China, Bloomberg published a report with the headline “Panama to Establish Ties With China in Latest Blow to Taiwan”. in 2018 when the Dominican Republic derecognized the Republic of China the Associated Press published a report with the headline “In blow to Taiwan, Dominican Republic forges ties with China”, and also in 2018 when El Salvador derecognized the Republic of China, The New York Times published a report with the headline “El Salvador Recognizes China in Blow to Taiwan”.

At a minimum, this shows journalists do not make the effort to check whether similar wording was used to report similar news not long ago.

But more importantly, these countries decision to derecognize the Republic of China are not a “blow” to Taiwan. Diplomatic relations with these countries did not help Taiwan’s economic security, military security, or participation in international organizations. Often, Taiwan’s financial assistance has allowed corrupt or undemocratic leaders to retain power in some of these countries. Whether the Taiwan government or opposition political parties, the message should be this is not a blow to Taiwan, and a “pity party” from foreign scholars, foreign governments, or the international media is unnecessary.

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