Honduras opens ties with China after breaking from Taiwan

China Taiwan Honduras
Honduras Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina Garcia, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang shake hands following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, during a joint statement after a ceremony in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing Sunday, March 26, 2023. Honduras formed diplomatic ties with China on Sunday after breaking off relations with Taiwan, which is increasingly isolated and now recognized by only 13 sovereign states, including Vatican City. (Greg Baker/Pool Photo via AP) Greg Baker/AP

Honduras opens ties with China after breaking from Taiwan

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Honduras moved to open diplomatic ties with China Sunday after breaking away from Taiwan, leaving the island recognized by only 12 nations and Vatican City.

Coinciding with its joint communique with China, Honduras’s foreign ministry affirmed publicly that Taiwan is an “inseparable part of Chinese territory,” ushering in an end to its formal relations with the island that dated back to the 1940s. The move marks a significant diplomatic victory for China.

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“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and as of today, the Honduran government has informed Taiwan of the severance of diplomatic relations, pledging not to have any official relationship or contact with Taiwan,” the foreign ministry said, per a translation.

President Xiomara Castro foreshadowed the move during a trip to China when she said Honduras would move to establish ties with Beijing. Both China and Taiwan have been embroiled in a battle over whether the island is under China’s control or an independent nation-state. China demands that other countries adhere to the “One China” policy in order to have relations.

“With deep regret, we announce the termination of diplomatic relations with Honduras. 82 years of friendship & cooperation bringing real benefit to the peoples were dismissed by the Castro government. Taiwan remains unbowed & continues to work as a force for good in the world,” Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry tweeted.

Castro mused about pivoting toward China in 2021, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu recounted in a press conference. Honduras requested billions in aid from Taiwan while pointing to the torrent of aid China pitched, per Wu. This included the pursuit of $2.45 billion for the construction of a dam, building a hospital, and paying off debt.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen vowed that her government would not “engage in a meaningless contest of dollar diplomacy with China” in order to preserve international friendships.

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Tsai is set to embark on a trip to the U.S., Guatemala, and Belize this week. During her trip, she is expected to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in Los Angeles and possibly other lawmakers as well.

Although the United States does not formally recognize Taiwan, Washington maintains unofficial relations with Taipei City. U.S. officials have fretted that China will eventually seek to reestablish control over Taiwan via force and have talked about the prospect of providing military aid to subvert such aggression.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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