Taiwan recalled its ambassador to Honduras on Thursday to protest the Honduran foreign minister's visit to China, the Taipei government said in a statement.
Honduras ignored more than 80 years of friendship between (Taiwan and Honduras) by sending its foreign minister to China, which seriously hurt the feelings of our government and our people,” the ministry said
. Foreign Affairs in a statement.
We have decided to immediately recall our ambassador to Honduras to express our deep dissatisfaction
,” the text adds.
Visit to China
The announcement came following a visit to China by Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina to discuss establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing.
China claims the democratic and self-governing island of Taiwan as part of its territory which it intends to take back, including by force if necessary.
On March 14, the Central American country announced through its president, Xiomara Castro, that it was going to establish “official relations
with the People's Republic of China
In the name of the principle of "
", the communist power in Beijing does not accept diplomatic relations with both it and Taipei.
Any recognition by a country of the People's Republic of China leads de facto to the severance of ties between it and Taiwan.
Read alsoIn Taiwan, the DPP faces its opposition and the Chinese threat
If Honduras officially breaks with Taiwan, the island would only have 13 countries with which it maintains official diplomatic ties, having lost several Latin American allies in recent years.
The Honduran Foreign Minister traveled to China with Deputy Xiomara Zelaya, the daughter of President Castro, three government and diplomatic officials told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The minister went there (…) on the instruction of President Xiomara Castro
,” President Rodolfo Pastor told the local daily El Heraldo.
He added that the Honduran delegation will be received by Qin Gang, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs.
No Chinese confirmation
China's Foreign Ministry has not confirmed the visit, but on Thursday spokesman Wang Wenbin said China was "
" to establish ties with Honduras.
China welcomes the positive remarks made by the Honduran government on the development of relations with China and is ready to establish and develop bilateral relations with Honduras on the basis of equality and mutual respect,"
said Wang Wenbin.
Eduardo Enrique Reina invoked on March 15 “
the enormous needs
” of Honduras and the refusal of Taiwan to increase its aid to justify the establishment of relations with Beijing.
Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with nearly 74% of its 10 million people living in poverty.
Eduardo Enrique Reina estimates that the country's internal and external debt amounts to 20 billion dollars, of which 600 million are due to Taiwan.
This change, promised by Ms Castro during her election campaign, came a few weeks after her government announced that it was negotiating with China for the construction of a hydroelectric dam.
Responding to questions from lawmakers over reports that Honduras has requested additional aid from Taipei, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Thursday that his government was not prepared to accept an "unreasonable request
I will be frank, we are in a rather difficult situation.
We are still doing our best, and we will do our best until the last minute
,” he said.
But we will not accept any unreasonable request, whether it comes from Honduras or another country, especially if it is opaque
,” he added.
Read alsoTsai Ing-Wen: on the front line against Beijing
In a separate statement on the same issue, Taiwan's foreign ministry said the island "
will not engage in dollar diplomacy with China
He also wanted to “
remind the Honduran government once again that it must not fall into the Chinese debt trap
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will depart on March 29 on a 10-day trip to strengthen ties with two of her remaining allies, Belize and Guatemala, and will also stop in the United States.
On March 7, US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy confirmed he would meet Ms Tsai in California, with the US State Department saying the planned trip was a 'transit' rather
Beijing has expressed its opposition to this meeting.