The government of Nicaragua has officially broken ties with Taiwan, declaring that there is only one China – the People’s Republic of China – and that Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory.

Nicaragua’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denis Moncada Colindres, announced the breaking of diplomatic ties in a statement on Thursday.

“The Government of the Republic of Nicaragua declares that it recognizes that in the world there is only one single China,” the statement said, adding that “the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China” and that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory.”

The Government of the Republic of Nicaragua today breaks diplomatic relations with Taiwan and ceases to have any contact or official relationship

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry responded to the news by saying that it felt “pain and regret” over Nicaragua’s decision. The Foreign Ministry also argued that it has a right to diplomatic relations around the world.

Only 14 sovereign states now have full diplomatic relations with Taiwan – the majority of them small and less economically developed nations. They are Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Belize, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Eswatini, and the Holy See.

Nicaragua joins the list of over a hundred states which have switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China over the decades. The Solomon Islands switched its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 2019, while the Dominican Republic and El Salvador cut ties with Taiwan in 2018. Panama cut its diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China in 2017.