The Government of Honduras has announced this Saturday the rupture of its diplomatic relations with taiwandays after the Honduran president, Xiomara Castrowill order resume ties with China. The Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs has indicated that the country’s Executive “recognizes the existence of only one China in the world, and that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China.”
Thus, Taipei only has 13 official allies, the majority in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Vatican. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and countries have to choose between maintaining official relations with Beijing or Taipei.
The Honduran announcement has caused great unease in Taiwan, where its president Tsai Ing-wen has said that her country will notor it will engage “in a senseless competition of dollar diplomacy with China.” “For many years we have maintained the belief that by working with all our capabilities and with a pragmatic and forward-looking approach we could maintain the substantive and long-term development of our diplomatic allies,” the president said in a video released this Sunday. Since Tsai came to power in 2016, Taiwan has lost nine international allies who have chosen to establish official ties with Beijing.
“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory,” said the Chinese ministerial portfolio in a statement in which it also stressed that Tegucigalpa “undertakes not to have any relationship or official contact with Taiwan”.
Castro, in the announcement to resume relations with Beijing, maintained that he had made the decision “as a sign” of his “determination to comply with the Government Plan and expand the borders freely in concert with the nations of the world.” So, it was unknown how this decision would affect the relations of the Latin American country with Taipei, since China establishes ties with countries that do not recognize the island as an independent country. For his part, Taiwan’s foreign ministry reacted to the announcement, asking the Honduran authorities to be “careful not to fall into China’s trap and make a wrong decision that would damage the longstanding friendship.”
Following the Executive’s decision, this week a delegation from the country, headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edward Enrique Reina, He traveled to China with the aim of “advancing in the beginning of relations between both nations.” The rupture of relations between Honduras and Taiwan reduces to thirteen the number of countries that recognize the independence of the island. Since 2007, four other Latin American countries have cut ties with Taipei to establish relations with China.
The announcement comes ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen’s delicate stops in the United States next week, on her round-trip to Belize and Guatemala, Taiwan’s Central American allies. During a layover, she is expected to meet with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, which will provoke the wrath of Beijing. After McCarthy’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August last year, China hosted war games near Taiwan.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told a press conference on Sunday that Honduras’s decision to end their relationship, which dates back to 1941, was “regrettable.” He said Taipei would end all aid projects and programs in Honduras and withdraw its embassy staff.