Honduras moves away from Taiwan and announces that it will establish diplomatic relations with China: which countries continue to recognize the government of the island

Honduras moves away from Taiwan and announces that it will establish diplomatic relations with China: which countries continue to recognize the government of the island

March 15, 2023, 2:49 PM

March 15, 2023, 2:49 PM

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Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced that she will establish relations with China.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced that her government will establish relations with China, a decision that could spell the end of the Central American country’s historic recognition of the island of Taiwan.

“I have instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina to manage the opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China, as a sign of my determination to comply with the Government Plan and expand the borders freely in concert with the nations of the world,” he wrote. Castro on his Twitter account.

Under its “one China” policy, which considers Taiwan a rogue province but an inalienable part of its territory, Beijing does not accept having relations with governments that recognize the islandwho sees herself as independent.

Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina said that the decision was due to “pragmatism, not ideology,” the Reuters agency reported.

Speaking to local television, Reina said that Honduras is “up to its neck” due to financial problems. Tegucigalpa owes Taiwan some US$600 million, a debt that partly motivated Honduras’ decision to open relations with China, the minister said.

“The global situation is complicated, we need to open up,” Reina said.

In addition, he indicated that Honduran government officials will meet with their Chinese counterparts in the coming days to formalize the relationship.

The Honduran foreign minister specified that the decision was not taken lightly and involved talks with the United States and allies in Asia. He assured that from now on his country intends to maintain trade ties with Taiwan.

“We need investment, cooperation and Honduras needs to be aggressive”said.

Henry Queen

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Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina said that Honduras owes Taiwan some US$600 million.

For his part, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that Beijing “welcomes” Honduras’s decision to establish bilateral diplomatic relations.

Castro floated the idea of ​​cutting ties with Taiwan and opening them with China during his presidential campaign.

The supports that remain

The Honduran government’s decision to move away from Taiwan would leave the island with a handful of diplomatic allies.

Without Honduras, heThe list is reduced to 13 countrieswhich in the American continent include Guatemala, Belize, Haiti, and the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.

The last Latin American countries to break ties with Taiwan in favor of maintaining ties with China were Nicaragua, in December 2021, and the Dominican Republic, which eliminated recognition of Taipei in 2018.

The other countries that recognize Taiwan in the world are: Vatican City, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), in southern Africa, and the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu in Oceania.

map of china and taiwan


The origin of the conflict

In 1949, China ended a long civil war with the victory of the communists, led by Mao Zedong, over the nationalist republicans, led by Chiang Kai-shek, who fled and installed their own government on the island of Taiwan.

In the context of the Cold War, many nations that opposed communism recognized the legitimacy of the government of Taiwan, a country that officially kept the name China had before the communist victory: the Republic of China.

But, as the economic power of the People’s Republic of China began to grow, many countries changed their position and opened diplomatic ties with the Mao government.

The United States began its formal relations with mainland China in 1979, however, it remains an ally of Taiwan.

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