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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Honduras Seeks to Establish Diplomatic Relations with China, Severing Ties with Taiwan

  • Honduras President Xiomara Castro announced on Tuesday her government’s intention to establish diplomatic relations with China, which would mean severing ties with Taiwan.
  • This move would leave Taiwan with only 13 countries recognizing it as China invests billions to gain recognition for its “One China” policy.
  • Castro instructed Honduran Foreign Affairs Minister Eduardo Reina to initiate negotiations with China, stating her aim to “expand frontiers freely in concert with the nations of the world” on her Twitter account.
  • During her 2021 presidential campaign, Castro had promised to pursue relations with China but backtracked on those statements once in power.
  • In January 2022, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Reina, had told The Associated Press that Honduras would continue strengthening its relationship with Taiwan and that establishing diplomatic ties with China was not a priority for Castro.
  • The government weighed the benefits of its good relationship with Taiwan and decided that there was no reason to change it at that moment.

The government of Honduras announced plans to establish diplomatic relations with China, which would require severing ties with Taiwan.

Beijing has not commented on the issue

This move would leave Taiwan recognized by only 13 countries, as China works to gain recognition for its “One China” policy.

The announcement was met with concern by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has urged Honduras to carefully consider the long-term friendship between the two countries.

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and threatens retaliation against countries that maintain formal ties with it. China has successfully used trade and investment incentives to encourage other countries to switch their allegiance, including Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and more recently, South Pacific nations.

It is not clear what prompted Honduras’ decision to shift its stance, but China’s investment in building a massive dam in the country may have played a role.

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