Mon, 29 May 2023

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: In what could signal the end of his country's decades-long relations with Taiwan, Honduran foreign minister Eduardo Enrique Reina will travel to China to "promote" the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Last week on Twitter, Honduran President Xiomara Castro said her government aims to open relations with China.

"Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina, on instructions from President Xiomara Castro, travelled to China on March 22 to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations," said Presidential press secretary Ivis Alvarado.

Beijing welcomed the Honduran government's positive attitude towards building relations, and was willing to develop them "on the basis of equality and mutual respect," said China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

In response, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry summoned Hondura's ambassador to express its "strong dissatisfaction" at the visit, which "seriously harmed the feelings of our government and people."

Reuters reported that Reina and his delegation left for Beijing from Panama, accompanied by Chinese officials.

After the visit, Taiwan will only have diplomatic relations with 13 countries.

Meanwhile, Honduras denied allegations that before announcing it would open relations with China, it demanded $2.5 billion in aid from Taiwan, instead claiming that it had repeatedly asked Taipei to purchase Honduran public debt.

The remarks about Honduras making demands prior to its China announcement were "absolutely preposterous and groundless," Chinese Foreign Ministry's Wang said.

This week, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said, "The situation with Honduras was not very good. The other side demanded a high price."

"The marks of Chinese involvement are very obvious," he added.

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