Honduras severs ‘diplomatic ties’ with Taiwan island
Published: Mar 26, 2023 08:53 AM
National flags of China, Honduras  Photo: CFP

National flags of China, Honduras Photo: CFP

The government of Honduras in Central America announced the breakdown of "diplomatic relations" with the Taiwan region on Saturday, saying it will have no more official relations or contact with the island moving forward.

The Secretary of State in the Offices of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has communicated to the island the decision to break off the two sides' "diplomatic relations" with instructions from the Honduras President, said the announcement Honduras made to inform the Honduran people, the international community and the media.

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 representing all of China with the Taiwan island as its inalienable territory, said the announcement. 

Despite continued pressure from the US and the DPP authorities of the Taiwan island, Honduras has adhered to the decision of establishing the diplomatic ties with China, which reflects the fact that the one-China principle has become the consensus of the international community, experts said. 

"The one-China principle represents international consensus determined by the UN and one of the fundamental pillars of the international order. And this point must be stressed," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Li said if Tsai Ing-wen wants to break the principle and pursue "Taiwan independence" under the manipulation of the US, they are not only undermining regional security and the UN's authority, but also jeopardizing the stability and healthy development of the international order.

Honduras' announcement came ahead Tsai's planned visit to Guatemala and Belize in Central America from March 29 to April 7, which are two of the 13 remaining countries in the world who have "diplomatic ties" with the island. 

Zheng Jian, chair professor of the Taiwan Research Institute of Xiamen University and director of the National Taiwan Studies Association, told the Global Times on Sunday that the timing reflects a tacit understanding by  both China and Honduras, showing the DPP authorities that Taiwan independence is a dead end.

According to Zheng, the announcement will also displease the US. In March 2019, the Trump administration signed Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative to help the island strengthen its "diplomatic ties" with other countries through temptation or threatening. 

"After Honduras decided to sever 'diplomatic ties' with Taiwan, the US government and the DPP authorities have exerted significant pressure on the country. They were very anxious but they failed to reach their goal. This showed that the one-China principle is international consensus and Honduras, which overcame this pressure, has the strong willingness of respecting such consensus," Jiang Shixue, a professor at the Center for Latin American Studies at Shanghai University, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

It is also clear that as time goes by, the US will only exhaust all bad faith efforts to play the "Taiwan card" to contain China, experts said.

Honduras has seen very clearly that in Latin America, especially in the Central America where it is located, the role of the US is to interfere local countries' internal affairs, affect their external communication and persecute their development, 

Li said that history will prove that getting rid of the burden of the Taiwan island and strengthening interaction with China, is the right choice for Honduras.

Days earlier, Honduran President Xiomara Castro said on her Twitter account that she instructed Honduran Foreign Affairs Minister Eduardo Reina to undertake the opening of official relations with China, as a sign of her determination to expand frontiers freely in concert with the nations of the world.

China welcomed Castro' latest remarks, saying it stood ready to establish and develop bilateral relations with Honduras on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

There are only seven countries left in Latin America that maintain so-called diplomatic relations with the island of Taiwan, and in the foreseeable future, "we could see the US and the DPP authorities continue to pressure those countries, but it's the general trend that more countries will adopt the correct stance on the international consensus concerning one China," experts said.