Honduras President Xiomara Castro is moving her country to an official position of diplomacy with China, edging out Taiwan.
The decision comes down weeks after the Honduran government announced plans to build the first of three hydroelectric dams, which will be financed by Beijing. It’s important to note that China does not build diplomatic relations with countries that are currently tied to Taiwan, making it easier for the second-largest economic power in the world to further isolate the neighboring country.
President Castro, who took office in 2021, ran a campaign of promises to help her country progress and expand borders, citing a relationship with China as a way forward.
In response to the severing of ties between the two countries (The two have shared a diplomatic bond since the early 40s), Taiwan’s foreign ministry issued a warning about the road ahead with China.
“Taiwan is a sincere and reliable ally. Our country has always assisted Honduras in its national development to the best of our capabilities. China’s only goal in developing relations with Honduras is to shrink our country’s international space; it has no sincere intentions to cooperate for the good of the Honduran people.”
This concern from Taiwan is not only warranted but is also gaining attention the world over. Since President Tsai Ing-Wen took office in 2016, Taiwan has been subject to systematic snubbing by China in the form of aid, investments, and the allure of a seat at a much larger table. Over the last decade, Panama, The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua have all severed ties with Taiwan, leaving them with only 13 diplomatic countries backing them.
Honduras’ foreign minister, Eduardo Reina, cited multiple reasons for the “pragmatic” move, including the country’s internal and external debt of $20 billion dollars, with $600 million owed to Taiwan.
Speaking on local television about the decision, Reina noted, “Honduras’ needs are enormous, and we haven’t seen that answer from Taiwan,”
More specifically, he spoke of a request by the Honduran government for Taiwan to double its annual aid to $100 million dollars but, allegedly, never received an answer or further negotiation.
President Castro said in a tweet that the decision was “a sign of my determination to fulfill the government plan and expand borders.”