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Honduras to seek diplomatic relations with China

March 15, 2023

The announcement marks a diplomatic policy change and could see Honduras — one of Taiwan's few remaining allies — severing relations with Taipei.

Xiomara Castro at the CELAC summit in Buenos Aires.
The government of Honduras President Xiomara Castro is in talks with China to build a damImage: Manuel Cortina/SOPA Images/ZUMA/picture alliance

Honduras President Xiomara Castro said Tuesday her country will look to establish diplomatic relations with China.

She said on Twitter that she had asked Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina "to undertake the opening of official relations with the People's Republic of China." The intention, she added, was to "expand the borders with freedom."

The move comes soon after Honduras announced it was negotiating with China to build a hydroelectric dam, called Patuca II. At the time, Reina said the dam would help Honduras build energy supplies, but denied plans to establish formal ties with China.

Castro, the country's first female president, had promised to pursue relations with China during her electoral campaign.

What Honduras-China relations mean for Taiwan

Beijing does not allow countries it has diplomatic relations with to maintain official ties with Taiwan. It views the island as its own territory under the "One China" policy.

If Honduras were to end relations with Taiwan, it would leave Taipei with only 13 diplomatic allies.

The Taiwanese foreign ministry said it was "in the process of understanding" the situation. In a statement published on its website, the ministry warned Honduras should not "fall into China's trap" and damage a long-term friendship.

Latin American nations had maintained ties with Taiwan for decades due to their proximity with the US. But as of today, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras are the only Central American states with official relations to Taipei. 

Over the past ten years, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua have severed ties in order to establish relations with Beijing.

tg/rt (AFP, Reuters)