Honduras breaks decades-long diplomatic ties with Taiwan, recognises ‘one China’

Honduras on Saturday announced that it ended its diplomatic relations with Taiwan, a move which drew Taipei’s immediate rebuke as Tegucigalpa changed its allegiances to China.

Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina said that after receiving instructions from President Xiomara Castro he “has communicated to Taiwan the decision to cease diplomatic relations,” stated a ministry in a statement.

The formal announcement of severing diplomatic ties came two days after FM Reina’s Beijing trip to discuss bilateral diplomatic ties’ establishment, and 11 days after the switch was first announced by Castro.

Self-ruled democratic Taiwan is considered by China as part of its own territory and which it plans to retake one day by force if required. As per the ‘One China’ policy, countries are not allowed to recognise both Taipei and Beijing.

“The government of the Republic of Honduras recognises 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,” said the Honduras foreign ministry on Saturday.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. As of this date, the government of Honduras has communicated to Taiwan the rupture of diplomatic relations, committing to no longer having any relationship or contact of an official nature with Taiwan,” it stated.

During a press conference held shortly after the announcement, Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that Castro has been misled by promises of financial aid made by China for her country.

“President Castro and her ruling team have been harbouring illusions on China and had brought up the issue of switching recognition on the campaign trail,” Wu said to the reporters during a press conference. “China has not ceased its attempts to lure away Honduras with financial incentives,” he added.

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The move of Honduras came after ending negotiations with China on constructing a hydroelectric dam in the country. Wu announced that Taipei was ending ties with Honduras after the announcement of Reina.

With the switch, Taiwan is left with 13 nations that recognise the country formally over China after losing many Latin American allies in recent years. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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