Beijing, Nov 13 (EFE).- Bilateral cooperation on maritime projects was one the main topics of Saturday’s meeting between the leaders of Honduras and Taiwan, and the pair reaffirmed ties amid increasing threats from China against the island.
Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández thanked his Taiwanese counterpart, Tsai Ing-Wen, for receiving his delegation in Taipei and said he would like to continue to strengthen 80 years of friendship, before announcing port and fishery ambitions.
“We believe that the gateway to the Asian market should be Taiwan. We have trade agreements that give this country access to 1.2 million consumers in the world,” Hernández said while recapping the meeting on his Twitter account.
“I am here because I would like to make the Logistics Center of the Americas known to the world in the Asian market,” he continued, saying “we built a modern highway that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific in less than 400 km, we modernized Puerto Cortés, which is now competitive in the region.”
Hernández said he wants to expand port capacities in the Pacific and appreciated the presence of the shipping companies “Wan Hai, Evergreen Marine Corporation and Yang Ming who were with me in Amapala, where a megaport is in the process of being built.”
“Honduras wants to develop the fishing industry and the ROC (Taiwan) has a lot of experience in this matter, we would appreciate if your government could promote successful companies in the field to generate hundreds of jobs,” he added.
The tension between Taiwan and China, which considers the island a rebel province that it must reunify with and has recently increased its military and political pressure on the democratic island, was also alluded to by the president.
“We are here because we want to give a clear and forceful message: in difficulties, we meet friends, in times of tension in the region, Honduras is here,” he tweeted.
Honduras is one of just 15 countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan as Beijing will not allow countries to have relations with both.
Through its Twitter account, the Presidential House of the Central American country said that “since 1941, Honduras has supported the Republic of China (Taiwan) to obtain an active participation in the specialized agencies and functional organizations of the United Nations (UN), and other International Organizations.”
The Honduran delegation, which arrived on Friday, is made up of 11 members, including Hernández and his wife, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lisandro Rosales, Minister of Finance Luis Mata and Minister of Communications Sandra Castillo, among others, and will remain on the island until next Sunday, the 14th. EFE