On March 26, Beijing — After the Central American nation’s decades-long friendship with Taiwan, China on Sunday forged diplomatic ties with Honduras. Taiwan’s foreign minister accused Honduras of demanding excessive amounts before being seduced by Beijing.
As the Honduran foreign minister visited China last week to establish relations and President Xiomara Castro said her administration would establish connections with Beijing, it was believed that relations with Taiwan would come to an end.
China said that the agreement on diplomatic recognition was signed in Beijing by Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina and its own Foreign Minister Qin Gang, severing connections with Taiwan that date back to the 1940s.
The Honduran foreign ministry acknowledged that Taiwan is a “inseparable component of Chinese territory” and that the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government that represents all of China in a short statement late on Saturday.
Taiwan vehemently disputes China’s contention that democratically run Taiwan is part of its territory and has no right to establish relations with other states. China insists that the nations it has relations with acknowledge its stance.
Foreign Minister of Taiwan Joseph Wu said that Castro, who entered office at the beginning of last year, and her administration had “always harboured illusions” about China and that Beijing’s “luring” had never ended.
The foreign ministry and embassy appropriately handled the pertinent material after understanding it. Yet, the Castro administration also requested billions of dollars in significant economic help from us and contrasted the costs of Taiwanese and Chinese assistance programmes, according to Wu.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said in a video message that her country will not engage in “meaningless” dollar diplomacy with China.
“The people of Taiwan have shown the rest of the world that we never back down from danger. Taiwan’s collaboration and ties with friends and nations that share its values in order to cooperatively advance world security and well-being would grow, not lessen, she added.
Aid was not mentioned in either the Chinese or the Honduran comments.
Wu said that Reina wrote to Taiwan on March 13, the day before Castro made his first declaration, requesting a total of US$2.45 billion (RM10.85 billion) in assistance, as well as the building of a hospital and a dam as well as the cancellation of debt.
Wu added that it seemed that they want financial gain rather than a hospital.
The amount of US$2.5 billion, according to Reina, was “not a contribution” but rather “a negotiated refinancing method,” she told Reuters last week.
Tsai is scheduled to fly off on Wednesday for a delicate trip to the United States, Guatemala, and Belize. At the conclusion of the tour, she is anticipated to meet US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.
Wu expressed his “strong suspicion” over the Honduras decision’s timing, which was so close to Tsai’s international trip.
He said that China seemed to be doing this on purpose.
The United States has frequently advised other nations not to heed China’s assurances of assistance as it increases its influence in its own neighbourhood by displacing Taiwan’s supporters in Central America.
Although the Honduran move was a sovereign choice, the US State Department said it was crucial to keep in mind China “frequently makes promises in return for diplomatic recognition that eventually remain unmet.”
In a statement, it added that “the United States will continue to deepen and extend its partnership with Taiwan regardless of Honduras’ choice.”
Ties between Honduras and Taiwan have existed since 1941, when the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official name, was still a part of mainland China. In 1949, after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists, the government fled to the island.
Currently, Taiwan only has official diplomatic ties with 13 nations, the majority of which are developing and underdeveloped nations in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. “Reuters”