Honduras President Announces Decision to Sever Ties with Taiwan in Favor of China
In a move that has been widely anticipated, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has announced that his country will seek diplomatic relations with China. The announcement was made yesterday, and comes just days before the President is scheduled to embark on a trip to the US.
The move is expected to put pressure on Taiwan, which has been a longstanding ally of Honduras. Taiwan has been struggling to maintain its diplomatic standing in the face of growing pressure from China, which considers Taiwan to be a renegade province.
Hernandez, in a statement to the press, said that the decision was made after extensive consultations with his administration, and that it was “in the best interests of the Honduran people”. He added that the move would allow Honduras to tap into the enormous economic potential of China, and would help to boost investment and trade between the two countries.
The announcement has been met with mixed reactions in Honduras. Some have hailed it as a smart move that will help to bring economic development and new opportunities to the country. Others, however, have expressed concern that the move will damage Honduras’ relationship with the US and other Western nations, which have traditionally been important allies.
Taiwan, in a statement of its own, expressed “deep regret” over Honduras’ decision. It reiterated its commitment to maintaining cordial relations with Honduras, and emphasized that it would continue to work closely with the country on economic and developmental issues.
The decision by Honduras to sever ties with Taiwan is just the latest blow to Taiwan’s diplomatic standing in the world. China has been working hard in recent years to chip away at Taiwan’s diplomatic alliances, by offering economic incentives to countries that switch recognition to Beijing. As a result, Taiwan is now left with just 15 diplomatic allies around the world, many of which are small Pacific island states.