Tegucigalpa and Beijing announced permanent ambassadors hours after the Central American country officially announced the severing of diplomatic ties with Taiwan since 1941.
China and Honduras announced the establishment of diplomatic ties this Sunday, a victory for Beijing in gaining a new ally from Taiwan. Currently, only 13 countries in the world are recognized “The two governments recognize each other and have decided to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The announcement, which the Central American government had already made just hours after Tegucigalpa announced it was officially severing ties with Taiwan, was announced by Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing. two days after the start of the visit. , caused an immediate reaction in Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Honduran Foreign Minister signed a joint statement in Beijing, according to a video released by his official CCTV television.
Qin said, “China welcomes President Siomara Castro’s early visit to China. Two ministers clink glasses of champagne in front of their respective countries’ flags.” at the direction of [Xiomara Castro]informed Taiwan of its decision to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan,” the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement hours ago.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said today that Honduras “extremely regrets” severing diplomatic ties with the island and opening ties with China, arguing that Taiwan is “under pressure from China’s authoritarian government.” I will not give in to coercion,” he assured. Ambassador Wu said at a press conference that he regretted the Honduran government’s neglect of the decades-old friendship between Taipei and Tegucigalpa, which have diplomatic ties since 1941.
Wu further explained that on March 13, the Honduran government asked the Taiwanese government for $2 billion to restructure foreign debt, $350 million to build a dam, and $90 million to build a hospital. Reina was asked last week to change the tenor of the relationship, which was based largely on $50 million in annual “donations and projects,” but justified a diplomatic twist to which Taipei failed to respond.
Honduras’ presidential minister, Rodolfo Pastor, reiterated this Friday that economic concerns are driving Tegucigalpa to seek ties with China. The pastor acknowledged that “Taiwan is an important ally of our country, to which we are deeply grateful,” but that “at the moment, there is no global consensus that marks the rise of China as an economic, commercial and political power.” We must also recognize the reality, the world scenario,” he said. .”
Taiwan’s Allies in Latin America
Latin America has been a key scene in the dispute between Beijing and Taipei since Beijing and Taipei separated in 1949 after the victory of Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War. All Central American countries have allied themselves with Washington and maintained ties with Taiwan for decades, but now only Guatemala and Belize maintain ties with Taiwan. And Taipei is afraid to lose even more. Costa Rica (2007), Panama (2017), El Salvador (2018) and Nicaragua (2021) have broken with Taiwan and aligned with Beijing.
With Honduras’ decision, only 13 countries in the world have recognized Taiwan, including Paraguay, Haiti, and seven other small island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific. , Taiwan announced on Tuesday that President Tsai Ing-wen will visit Guatemala and Belize next week. Tsai said the visit would help “to show that we attach importance to our allies and to further deepen the cooperation and development of our democratic allies.”