On June 8, Costa Rican president Oscar Arias announced the diplomatic relations with Taiwan have been broken, and ties have been established with China. In leaving behind 60 years of diplomatic relations, this has created a great deal of critical comments, as well as of support. Legislators, blogs, press, etc. have all given their opinions.
What did Costa Rica gain in recognizing Taiwan? Some say money is the answer. During many years, Taiwan has maintained close ties with Latin American countries and gave gifts, beneficial loans, donations, etc. One cannot say that we or any of the other 24 countries were in that relationship for moral reasons. One can also not say that the country is ungrateful because that it was in the relationship for self-interest and not for conviction.
Some national blogs gave their opinions and the majority were against this decision, such as the blog La Suiza Centroamericana [ES]:
Y nos ha confirmado sin ambages que hemos entrado de manera decidida y definitiva en la era de la prostitución diplomática…Nuestra relación con Taiwán no estaba bien planteada porque se basaba en las dádivas y no en los principios fundamentales compartidos.
And it was confirmed, without talking in circles, that we entered in a decidedly and definitive fashion into the era of diplomatic prostitution…Our relationship with Taiwan was not well established because it was based on favors and not on shared fundamental principles.
One might ask whether Costa Rica's relationship with Taiwan was healthy or whether it was only for self-interest. Even though the countries share principles such as democracy, freedom of speech, whether that really mattered.
Juan Carlos Hidalgo [ES] writes:
Considero totalmente imprudente y bastante perjudicial la decisión del gobierno de cortar relaciones diplomáticas…Costa Rica siempre ha ‘rajado’ de ser un país promotor de los derechos humanos y la libertad. ¿Cómo se justifica romper relaciones con una de las pocas democracias consolidadas del Este Asiático a cambio de un régimen represivo y violador de las libertades civiles más básicas como lo es China?
I consider the government's decision to cut diplomatic ties to be completely imprudent and very harmful…Costa Rica always has ‘gave an effort’ to be a country that promotes human rights and freedom. How is it justified to cut ties with one of the few consolidated democracies of East Asia in exchange of a repressive regimen and violator of the basic civil liberties, such as what happens in China?
There are other blogs that entirely support the decision, such as Fusil de Chispas [ES] writes:
El comercio y las puertas que se abren con la voraz economía China, se me hacen mucho más beneficiosas potencialmente, que el costo afectivo que parece tener el a otra cosa mariposa, en este momento específico
Commerce and doors are opened to the economic voracity of China, and I believe that this is potentially much more beneficial than the sentimental cost of the decision, ‘out with the old, and in with the new’
“A decision of this transcendence requires discreet diplomacy. We have been as transparent as the circumstances permits,” explained President Oscar Arias, when asked why the negotiations were secret. Now the country can be open to a market that contains 20% of the world's population (1.3 billion people), which is something immense and that may benefit the country.