The President of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, has announced that her country, one of just 14 sovereign states to maintain formal ties with the island of Taiwan, will seek to establish diplomatic relations with mainland China instead.
Castro tweeted on Tuesday that she instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina “to manage the opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China” to join the rest of the world in “expanding the borders with freedom.”
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If the Central American country proceeds with the plan, it will likely have to break off its relations with Taiwan, as Beijing refuses to maintain diplomatic ties with states that recognize Taiwan in breach of its ‘One China’ policy.
Taipei has yet to comment on the announcement publicly, but a source within its foreign affairs department said officials were “in the process of ascertaining the situation,” according to the Central News Agency.
Honduras may join the list of over a hundred states which have switched diplomatic relations from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China over the decades. Nicaragua shifted its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 2021, following the Solomon Islands in 2019, while the Dominican Republic and El Salvador cut ties with Taiwan in 2018. Panama severed official links with Taiwan in 2017.
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Currently, only a handful of nations recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country, namely Guatemala, Paraguay, Belize, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Eswatini, and the Holy See.
Beijijng considers Taiwan to be part of its sovereign territory and has vowed to peacefully reunify with the island, while reserving the right to use military force if necessary.