Honduras Cuts Diplomatic Ties With Taiwan, Recognizes China

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
March 26, 2023China News
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Honduras’s leftist government cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the Latin American country announced on Saturday, saying it recognizes “only one China in the world” under pressure from China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Hours later, China’s state-controlled media reported on Sunday that Beijing and Honduras had now established diplomatic relations.

The announcement by Honduras’s Foreign Ministry posted on Twitter comes amid rising tensions between Beijing and the U.S.-led democratic international rules-based order, including the CCP’s increasing aggression toward self-ruled Taiwan. The move leaves Taiwan recognized by only 13 sovereign states.

“The government of the Republic of Honduras 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,” the Honduran ministry statement said.

It added that “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.”

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Sunday that the governments of Honduras and China were discussing establishing ties and that Taiwan had ended its relations with Honduras to “safeguard its sovereignty and dignity.”

Wu said that Honduras President Xiomara Castro and her team always had a “fantasy” about China, and had raised the issue of switching ties before the presidential election in Honduras in 2021 saw the defeat of conservative President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

“With Taiwan’s efforts on the matter, the relations between Taiwan and Honduras were once stable at the beginning of Castro’s term, but China had not stopped luring Honduras,” Wu said at a news conference.

CCP mouthpiece Global Times said of the Castro government’s decision on Twitter, “This is the trend. Even [the United States] can’t turn the tide. Seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ is bound to bring heavy losses & doomed to fail. 10 countries in 10 years have cut ‘diplomatic’ ties with Taiwan island. Honduras is the latest & will not be the last. Who’s the next?”

Taiwan’s Bi-khim Hsiao, the island democracy’s de facto ambassador to the United States, said of the move on Twitter, “Regrettable that the Honduran government has betrayed Taiwan’s friendship for China. They will soon realize that whatever the CCP did to lure them will be nothing but empty promises and malign influence.

“Taiwan was a solid partner of the Honduran people for 82 years, contributing to public health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, SME’s, and more. The HN government has abandoned this to embrace an authoritarian CCP. Disappointing.

“The CCP’s attempts to suppress Taiwan’s international space will not end here. But the fact is, Taiwan as a force for good will never be isolated.”

Honduras is the ninth diplomatic ally that Taipei has lost to Beijing since pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen first took office in May 2016. The last three governments to bow to CCP pressure were Nicaragua in 2021, and Kiribati and the Solomon Islands in 2019.

China and Taiwan have been locked in a battle for diplomatic recognition since the sides split amid China’s civil war in 1949, with the CCP spending billions to win recognition for its “one China” principle.

The CCP claims Taiwan is part of its territory, to be brought under its control by force if necessary, and refuses most contacts with countries that maintain formal ties with the island democracy. It threatens retaliation against countries merely for increasing contacts.

Taiwan still has ties with Belize, Paraguay, and Guatemala in Latin America, and Vatican City. Most of its remaining partners are island nations in the Caribbean and South Pacific, along with Eswatini in southern Africa.

Meanwhile, the Federated States of Micronesia, following talks with Taiwan in February, said it is considering switching diplomatic ties to Taiwan from Beijing, with President David Panuelo decrying the CCP’s “political warfare.”

Despite the CCP’s campaign of isolation, Taiwan retains robust informal ties with more than 100 other countries, most importantly the United States. The United States maintains its own “One China” policy, which differs from the CCP’s view and does not recognize mainland sovereignty over Taiwan. The United States maintains unofficial relations with Taiwan.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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