Honduras Opens Embassy, Strengthens Ties with China

Trent Barr
Trent Barr
Trent has years of experience and training in open source intelligence gathering and journalism. He specializes in Latin American, German, and Vatican affairs, with a broader interest in European politics. Trent serves as the Latin America Desk Chief for Atlas News.

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In March of this year, Honduras terminated its ties with Taiwan and established an embassy in China, marking the end of a collaboration that had spanned several decades since the 1940s.

The decision was met with criticism from Taiwan’s foreign minister, who alleged that the Honduran government had demanded an exorbitant amount of money to maintain their relationship before ultimately siding with Beijing.

Currently, President Xiomara Castro of Honduras is on a state visit to China, where she is scheduled to meet with Xi Jinping.

According to Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, the Castro administration has long held illusions about China, and China’s persistent enticement has played a role in this decision. Wu stated in March, “The foreign ministry and embassy obtained and handled the relevant information cautiously. However, the Castro government also requested billions of dollars in significant economic assistance and compared the aid programs offered by Taiwan and China.” In a letter addressed to Taiwan in March, Honduras’ Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina requested nearly $2.5 billion in aid, primarily in the form of a $2 billion loan for debt relief as well as funds for the construction of a hospital and a dam, as reported by Reuters.

The United States has expressed longstanding concerns about China’s global expansion, particularly in South America, where it is believed that China is targeting Taiwan’s economic allies in order to undermine the island nation. U.S. officials have cautioned countries to exercise caution when engaging with China, asserting that their promises of economic assistance are rarely fulfilled.

In response to Honduras’ decision, the State Department issued a statement affirming, “regardless of Honduras’ decision, the United States will continue to deepen and expand our engagement with Taiwan.” Currently, Taiwan maintains official relations with only 13 countries, many of which are located in South America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific and tend to be economically disadvantaged.