Loss of Honduras embarrasses Taiwan authorities, shames US
Published: Mar 26, 2023 05:42 PM
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with Honduran counterpart Eduardo Enrique Reina in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: fmprc.gov.cn

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with Honduran counterpart Eduardo Enrique Reina in Beijing on Sunday. Photo: fmprc.gov.cn

The Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Saturday local time to break "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan island and establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. This is not only a heavy blow to the Taiwan authorities, but also a clear disregard to the threat made by the US to the island's "diplomatic allies" that they cannot break "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan and establish relations with Beijing, otherwise they will face US' sanctions. This move by Honduras not only embarrassed the Taiwan authorities, but also caused a loss of face for the US.

Honduras and Nicaragua which broke "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan despite US' threat two years ago, are both Central American countries. This indicates that the US, unable to even manage its own "backyard", is externally strong but internally weak and is losing support of the international community for lacking justice.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced on March 15 in a high-profile manner to instruct her foreign minister toward breaking "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan and establishing diplomatic relations with the PRC. Over the following ten days, Washington was unable to reverse the Honduran government's decision to reshape its diplomatic relations with China. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan were extremely anxious but helpless, as it watched the number of Taiwan's "diplomatic allies" shrink to a very ominous "13". Taiwan's "diplomatic allies" are now one step closer to be cut to zero.

This is a natural result of the continuous expansion of Chinese mainland's comprehensive national strength, and China's influence can be felt in Central America. It is also an inevitable trend in the international community where righteousness will ultimately prevail over evil.

Taiwan's "diplomatic allies" are mostly small and poor countries. If they maintain relations with an unrecognized pseudo-regime, instead of establishing diplomatic ties with a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the People's Republic of China, just for some meager aid, it will damage the confidence of their citizens. This is because it is equivalent to openly admitting to being beggars rather than dignified members of the international community. Therefore, whenever one of these "diplomatic allies" holds an election, the Taiwan authorities would panic. Paraguay is holding its presidential election this year, and the leader of the opposition party has already stated that if elected, he will break "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan. If there is a change in political power in Paraguay, the same thing that happened in Honduras could likely be repeated.

Taiwan is not a sovereign country, and the economy of Chinese mainland has grown to a size approaching that of the US, which is over twenty times that of Taiwan. Every step that Taiwan takes in pretending to be a "country" will become increasingly difficult, like walking on thin ice, and it will also become more expensive.

Beijing doesn't need to play "dollar diplomacy" with the Taiwanese authorities, as our advantage over them is already absolute and overwhelming. These small countries are eager to enter the Chinese mainland, which is a super large market that is catching up with and gradually surpassing the US. They don't need a little bit of aid and relief, but rather real driving force for development. Regarding the Taiwan question, Beijing's game opponent is the US, and the small Taiwan authorities are just a ball under the feet of China and the US.

Establishing diplomatic relations with Taiwan's former "allies" is also a help and support for the people of Taiwan. Since Tsai Ing-wen took office, Taiwan has lost a total of 9 "allies", which has saved Taiwan a lot of money spent on "dollar diplomacy". As the remaining dozen or so small "allies" also establish diplomatic relations with Beijing one by one, the shameful page of Taiwan's "dollar diplomacy" will eventually come to an end with the comprehensive rise of the PRC.

Central America is right to the south of the US. Many of these countries are very poor, with a few being the least developed in the world. Additionally, the political situation in this region is unstable. The US has drained Central America of its resources but relies on Taiwan island to provide aid to the region. Now the US is pressuring Taiwan to transfer its chip industry to the US, which is another way for the US to suck blood. Honduras breaking off "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan and establishing ties with Beijing represents a strong desire for the "diplomatic allies" of Taiwan in Central America to break away from this shameful system and seek more dignified and larger development.

The author is a commentator with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn