Taiwan concerned over Honduras establishing China relations

Beijing, Mar 15 (EFE).- The Taiwanese foreign affairs ministry said it expressed to the Government of Honduras its “serious concern” Wednesday at the announcement that the country could establish diplomatic relations with China, breaking the ties it holds with Taipei.

Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Alexander Yui summoned the Honduran Ambassador Harold Burgos in the capital over the matter.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro said Tuesday on Twitter that she had ordered her country’s Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina to open diplomatic relations with China to comply with her government plan.

“I have instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo (Enrique) Reina to manage the opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China,” Castro said in her message.

Before her inauguration as president on Jan. 27, 2022, Castro said it was not on her agenda to open relations with China.

After the meeting with the vice minister, the Honduran diplomat told the Taiwanese press she has not yet received instructions from her government and is awaiting instructions from Tegucigalpa.

In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry said it was not considering breaking relations with Honduras before President Castro’s announcement and that it remains open to dialog.

The statement said Taipei is “a genuine friend and partner that has offered assistance to Honduras for decades,” adding that Beijing makes “false promises” to Taiwan’s allies with the sole intention of reducing the island’s international presence.

“Our government has asked the Honduran counterpart to carefully consider the situation and not fall into China’s trap by making a wrong decision that would put our decades-long bilateral friendship at risk,” the statement read.

The rupture of relations with Taiwan by Honduras would reduce to 13 the number of countries with which Taipei maintains diplomatic relations and would make the Central American nation the ninth – and the fifth Latin American – country that since 2016 has cut ties with the island to establish them with China.

In addition to Honduras, the countries with which Taiwan maintains diplomatic relations are Guatemala, Vatican City, Haiti, Paraguay, Eswatini, Tuvalu, Nauru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Belize, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

Ties between Tegucigalpa and Taipei date back to 1941, when the country was still headquartered on the Chinese mainland.

Four Latin American countries – Panama, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua – broke relations with Taiwan in recent years in favor of China.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which it considers a rebel territory since Kuomintang nationalists retreated to the island in 1949 after losing the war against the communist army. EFE


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