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Honduras set to switch ties from Taiwan to China

Drastic move leaves Taiwan with 13 remaining diplomatic allies

Honduras President Xiomara Castro. (Twitter, Xiaomara Castro photo)

Honduras President Xiomara Castro. (Twitter, Xiaomara Castro photo)

Update-- Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Tah-ray Yui (俞大㵢) met with Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos on Tuesday morning (March 15), expressing serious concern over Honduras President Xiomara Castro's decision to establish diplomatic ties with China, per a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release.

Yui reiterated that Taiwan and Honduras have been friends for more than 80 years. Over the years, Taiwan has promoted many cooperation projects with the Honduran government to benefit the people of the two countries, he said.

"Taiwan is a sincere and reliable ally of Honduras," he said.

"The government and people of Taiwan have always assisted in Honduras' development and construction within the scope of their capabilities and have lent a helping hand when it was most needed," Yui added, which is in contrast to the "flashy promises" made by the Chinese dictatorship.

Beijing intends to wrest control of Taiwan's diplomatic relations and reduce Taiwan's international space, the vice minister said. He reminded Honduras to carefully consider its decision and not to "fall into China's trap" by damaging the long-term friendship between Taiwan and Honduras.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Honduras President Xiomara Castro announced on Tuesday (March 14) that she will establish diplomatic relations with China.

Castro revealed in a tweet that she had instructed Honduras Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina to oversee the process of forming official ties with Beijing. She justified her decision as being “a sign of my determination to fulfill the government plan and expand borders.”

Castro had pledged to recognize Beijing during her presidential campaign but seemingly backtracked once she took office.

Chinese Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Xie Feng (謝峰) met with Reina in January when the two both attended Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s inauguration. The two ministers reportedly discussed potential cooperation on the Patuca II hydropower project in Honduras.

However, Reina later stressed that the conversation with Xie "was a purely commercial issue, we maintain the relationship with Taiwan.”

Honduras' sudden decision will leave Taiwan with only 13 remaining diplomatic allies. Over the past decade, Taiwan has slowly lost multiple Central American allies to China, including Costa Rica in 2007, Panama in 2017, Dominican Republic and El Salvador in 2018, and Nicaragua in 2021.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said it has "expressed serious concerns" to the Honduran government, per a MOFA press release. Taiwan has made it clear many times to Honduras that it is a sincere and reliable cooperative partner, MOFA said.

The ministry urged Honduras to carefully consider its decision to switch recognition and not "fall into China's trap." Not doing so will damage the long-lasting friendship between Taiwan and Honduras, it added.