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Taiwan Wins Backing for UN Bid

August 11, 1999

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) _ Foreign ministers of six Central American countries say they support Taiwan’s efforts to rejoin the United Nations and other agencies that expelled the island country in favor of mainland China.

Taiwan also announced $21 million in aid to the region, as a meeting of the Central American foreign ministers and Jason Hu of Taiwan came to a close on Tuesday.

Central America is a rare stronghold of support for Taiwan in its efforts to resist mainland China’s attempts to strip the island of international recognition. China considers Taiwan a renegade province.

Relations between Taiwan and the mainland have been especially strained since Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui on July 9 urged China to deal with the island on a ``state-to-state″ basis, which China saw as a step toward a declaration of independence.

``The countries of Central America believe that Taiwan deserves to be included in the United Nations and other international organizations,″ including the World Trade Organization, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Roberto Rojas said.

``We recognize Taiwan as a democratic country which has shown broad development in economy and other areas,″ he said.

Rojas urged Taiwan and China to resolve their conflicts through dialogue.

The Taiwanese aid is meant for disaster relief and prevention and for trade and commercial promotion, officials said.

Since 1992, Taiwan has given more than $180 million in aid to Central America and scores of Taiwanese investments are scattered throughout the region.

Also participating in the meetings were foreign ministers of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Belize.

Presidents of the six Central American countries plan to meet in Taiwan in September.

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