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Taiwan warships drop anchor in Nicaragua amid sinking ties with China

From Reuters - April 10, 2018

TAIPEI (Reuters) - A Taiwanese naval Friendship Flotilla of warships dropped anchor in Nicaragua on Monday just weeks after China urged Taiwans dwindling diplomatic allies to ditch the self-ruled island in favor of Beijing.

Three ships, carrying around 800 crew, arrived in El Salvador on Friday and will visit other allies in Central America, Taiwans Defence Ministry said.

China claims Taiwan as its sacred territory, part of one China, and Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring what it considers to be a wayward province under Chinese control.

Taiwan now has formal relations with only 20 countries, many of them poor nations in Central America and the Pacific. Panama cut its diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of Beijing in June last year.

Visiting our diplomatic allies is something the Friendship Flotilla has been doing for years. It helps to continuously strengthen the relationship with our allies, Taiwan Defence Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said on Tuesday.

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