Taiwanese officials said on Tuesday that they will still respect Honduras’ upcoming election outcome despite giving the Central American nation a warning about China’s “false” promises.
The warning: While speaking to reporters, Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the Taiwanese government will “strengthen communication with all sides in Honduras including the opposition,” according to Reuters.
- “We will continue to explain, and let them know, that only Taiwan is a partner worthy of trust for Honduras,” Ou said. “At the same time we will remind Honduras to pay attention to China’s flashy and false promises.”
- Honduras is one of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies. However, the Sunday election could potentially end the 80-year relationship between them. Xiomara Castro of the Liberty and Refoundation Party (Libre Party), a leading candidate in the race, said in a speech that if elected, she “will immediately open diplomatic and commercial connections with mainland China,” Taiwan News reported.
- Castro took the lead in the race by 38%, and Tegucigalpa Mayor Nasry Asfura from the ruling National Party only received 21% votes, according to the poll conducted by Centro de Estudio para la Democracia in October.
Other details: China has been successful in converting some of the eight allies that Taiwan has had in Central America and the Caribbean, with Panama breaking off its diplomatic alliance with Taiwan in 2017, then El Salvador and the Dominican Republic following suit in 2018. The two most recent countries that broke off alliances with Taiwan were Kiribati and the Solomon Islands in September 2019.
Taiwan celebrated the 80th anniversary of its diplomatic relationship with Honduras on April 9. “Honduras is a staunch ally of Taiwan,” the Taiwanese government wrote in its press release. “Over the past several years, our nations have steadily expanded exchanges across all facets of our relationship, and our bilateral trade has continued to grow year-on-year.”
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