TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Hoping to retain the support of its Central
American allies, Taiwan has established a $240 million fund to provide them
development aid, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
Taiwan will pay $20 million per year into the Central American Economic
Cooperation and Development Fund over 12 years, the ministry said.
"Based on the principle of not spending the capital, interest accrued on
fund will be enlisted in aiding the countries of Central America in economic
and trade development projects," the ministry said in a statement.
Taiwan will also provide a $50 million loan to the Central American
Economic Integration Bank to nurture small and medium size businesses in
the region, the ministry said.
Taiwan badly needs those countries to continue to extend diplomatic
recognition in order to fend off rival China's attempts to isolate Taiwan in the
international community. Central American countries make up seven of the
just 27 countries that recognize Taiwan.
Assistance comes on top of aid packages Taiwan provides to individual
countries in Central America -- much of it distributed through a forum that
meets annually -- along with government incentives for Taiwanese businesses
to invest in the region.
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.