Taiwan announced that it had recalled its ambassador to Honduras to protest against the visit of the head of Honduran diplomacy to China, a sign of the loss of another Latin American ally for Taipei.< /p>
“Honduras ignored more than 80 years of friendship between (Taiwan and Honduras) by sending its foreign minister to China, which seriously hurt the feelings of our government and our people,” the ministry said. Taiwanese Foreign Affairs in a statement.
“We have decided to immediately recall our ambassador to Honduras to express our deep dissatisfaction”, adds the text.
The announcement came following a visit to China by Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina to discuss establishing diplomatic ties with Beijing.
China claims the island to be democratic and autonomous Taiwan as part of its territory which it intends to take back, including by force if necessary.
On March 14, Honduras announced through its president, Xiomara Castro, that he would establish “official relations with the People's Republic of China”.
In the name of the principle of “one China”, the communist power in Beijing does not accept diplomatic relations with both it and Taipei. Any recognition by a country of People's China leads de facto to the severing of ties between it and Taiwan.
If the Central American country officially breaks with Taiwan, the island would only have 13 countries with which it maintains official diplomatic ties, having lost several Latin American allies in recent years.
The Honduran foreign minister traveled to China with deputy Xiomara Zelaya, the daughter of President Castro, three government and diplomatic officials told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“The minister went there (…) on the instruction of President Xiomara Castro”, declared to the local daily “El Heraldo” the Minister of the Presidency Rodolfo Pastor.
He added that the Honduran delegation will be received by Qin Gang, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs.
China's Foreign Ministry has not confirmed the visit, but on Thursday spokesman Wang Wenbin said China is “ready” to establish ties with Honduras.
“China welcomes the positive remarks made by the Honduran government on the development of relations with China and is ready to establish and develop bilateral relations with Honduras on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Wang said. .
Mr. Reina cited on March 15 the “enormous needs” of Honduras and the refusal of Taiwan to increase its aid to justify the establishment of relations with Beijing.
This change, which Mrs. Castro had promised to do during his election campaign, came weeks after his government announced it was negotiating with China to build a hydroelectric dam.
Answering questions from MPs on reports that Honduras has reportedly requested additional aid from Taipei, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Thursday that his government was not prepared to accept an “unreasonable request”.
“I will be Frankly, we are in a rather difficult situation. We are still doing our best, and we will do our best until the last minute,” he said.
“But we will not accept any unreasonable request, let it come from Honduras or another country, especially if it is opaque,” he added.