On Monday (27 Mar), a senior Honduran official announced that Taiwan must vacate its embassy in Honduras within 30 days.
This follows President Xiomara Castro’s decision to sever ties with Taiwan and open formal diplomatic relations with China, in a bid to attract more investment and jobs from the Asian giant.
Deputy foreign minister Antonio Garcia issued the order on local television, saying that officials aim for an “orderly, friendly” exit.
In his remarks, Garcia stressed the need for a diplomatic mission to China, suggesting that the country could invest up to US$10 billion in Honduras, which would be a boon for local workers.
The foreign ministry also announced that Honduran students with scholarships in Taiwan would be able to transfer their studies to China.
#FrenteaFrente Vicecanciller Antonio García: sobre salida de Taiwán de Honduras y estudiantes hondureños becados en Taiwán.
EN VIVO: https://t.co/8mtD6cx1kp pic.twitter.com/Xxt9bvPbk8
— Frente a Frente (@FrenteaFrenteHN) March 27, 2023
Last Thursday (23 Mar), Taiwan recalled its ambassador to Honduras over a visit by Tegucigalpa’s foreign minister to China.
On 25 March, Honduras officially announced a break in diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
The Foreign Ministry of Honduras in an statement, “The Government of the Republic of Honduras recognizes 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.”
“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and from this date, the Government of Honduras has communicated to Taiwan the rupture of diplomatic relations, committing to not have any official relationship or contact with Taiwan again.”
📌| COMUNICADO: Honduras Anuncia Ruptura de Relaciones Diplomáticas con Taiwán pic.twitter.com/kaaBearpcM
— Cancillería Honduras (@CancilleriaHN) March 26, 2023
In response, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) announced the decision to terminate diplomatic relations with the Republic of Honduras with immediate effect.
ROC Taiwan’s MOFA claimed that the current Castro administration demanded massive amounts of economic aid, totalling billions of US dollars, and “weighed Taiwan’s assistance proposals against those submitted by China”.
The statement reiterated that Taiwan had implemented a wide range of cooperation programs in Honduras for years, covering domains such as healthcare, education, economy and trade and etc.
“The government of Taiwan expresses great sadness and regret that the Castro administration has disregarded Taiwan’s long-standing assistance and friendship and engaged China in talks on establishing diplomatic relations.”
ROC Taiwan’s MOFA reminded the international community that China frequently makes “ostentatious commitments” to lure Taiwan’s diplomatic allies into switching diplomatic recognition.
Taiwan’s embassy in Tegucigalpa’s Palmira neighbourhood was one of the Central American capital’s most prominent foreign outposts and the country’s second-largest embassy after the US embassy.
Castro’s main conservative opposition has stated that they would reverse the opening to China if they regained power.
China considers self-ruled democratic Taiwan as a part of its territory, to be retaken one day — by force, if necessary.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro ordered Reina to establish diplomatic relations with China, a move that would sever its ties with Taiwan.
Under Beijing’s “One China” principle, no country may maintain official diplomatic relations with both China and Taiwan. Taipei maintains a similar policy, having cut ties in the past with countries that switched recognition to Beijing.