July 11th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The president of Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly, Luis Fernando Mendoza, is being criticized by fellow lawmakers after stating in a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, that Costa Rica supports and adheres to the “One China” policy, which means the non-recognition of Taiwan and Tibet.
The information was released by China’s Xinhua news agency. The “One China” policy requires countries that maintain relations with the Asian giant to recognize the regime in Beijing as the sole government and to have no diplomatic contact with Taiwan and Tibet.
Lawmaker Carmen Muñoz (PAC) said that the subject is one that should be handled by the Government (Executive Branch), not the Legislative Assembly, adding that Costa Rica should maintain a neutral position in such matters. Muñoz questioned what it means to not recognize Tibet, calling into question China’s human rights record in the region.
Costa Rica severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and Tibet under the administration of former president, Oscar Arias. On June 6th, 2007, a press release by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcing diplomatic relations with China, read in part:
“…With this agreement, Costa Rica joins the 168 member states of the United Nations to recognize the one-China principle, and thus diplomatically recognizes the People’s Republic of China.”
Lawmaker Patricia Pérez described Muñoz’s statements as ‘unfortunate,’ and said they do not reflect the thinking of the legislature.
Pérez said that recognizing China as a world economic power is quite different than sharing China’s thinking with regard to Tibet and the Dalai Lama.
Mendoza’s statements in support of the One-China policy were heavily criticized in social networks.
Mendoza, in his statements, added that “Costa Rica expects closer cooperation with China politically, economically, and culturally.”