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July 28, 2017

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Nicaragua uses Taiwan aid to buy rival's products: lawmaker

A ruling lawmaker yesterday accused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of failing to promote domestic brands internationally after he found the nation's ally Nicaragua was using Taiwanese funds to buy South Korean products.

An airport in Nicaragua built with Taiwanese money as part of the MOFA's foreign aid project was found instaled with South Korean computers instead of Taiwanese ones, ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang said yesterday at a legislative session.

He claimed that he made the finding during his previous visit to the Central American ally.

Lin accused the MOFA of negligence in failing to ask the diplomatic ally to buy more local products to help boost Taiwanese industries, especially given that South Korea is Taiwan's main competitor in the international market.

"What would Taiwanese people think when they find that the MOFA is giving away taxpayers' money so that our ally can buy Korean products?" he asked at a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting held at the Legislative Yuan.

Asked to comment, Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko (柯森耀), who fielded questions in the same meeting, said the ministry will ask diplomatic allies to purchase as many Taiwanese products as possible in the future.

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