Taiwan’s Vice President travels to Honduras in fear of losing another ally to China


Taipei, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te set out for Honduras on January 25, as Central America could support the Chinese administration and cut off diplomatic relations with the island.

Rye will attend the inauguration of President Honduras Electio Maracastro on January 27th. Currently, Honduras is one of the 14 remaining diplomatic allies in Taiwan, as Taipei has lost eight allies to Beijing since 2016.

Honduras and Taiwan have been diplomatic allies for 80 years as of 2021. However, relations have been volatile after Castro’s inauguration in last year’s campaign stated that he would “immediately open diplomatic and commercial relations with mainland China.”

Mr. Lai’s overseas travel is currently under close scrutiny as he may meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris, who will lead the presidential delegation, to attend Presidential Inauguration. The United States is currently Taiwan’s largest supplier of weapons, even though neither side has formal diplomatic relations.

“While President Castro is preparing to promote a new policy, Taiwan has various difficulties in supporting a spirit of practical diplomacy and mutual support, deepening cooperation with Honduras and benefiting the peoples of both countries. Will overcome, “Rai said at a press conference just before his boarding.

As a sign of Taiwan’s determination to deepen its ties with the Castro administration from the beginning, Lai said he would bring supplies to help Honduras fight COVID-19.

In addition to meeting with Castro, Lai said he would “exchange and interact” with leaders, deputy leaders, and representatives of “allies and friends.” He didn’t name Harris or anyone else.

The trip will show the world that Taiwan “braves a heavy responsibility for the stability of regional and international order,” Lai said.

“The international community will understand that Taiwan is a trusted friend and Taiwan has the ability to support the international community,” he added.

According to the Central News Agency, run by the Taiwanese government, Rye’s delegation will stop in Los Angeles before arriving in Honduras. They will return to Taiwan on January 30th after stopping in San Francisco.

China does not want to see Lai and Harris interact in Honduras. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian was “resolutely opposed” to “official exchanges” between Taiwan and the United States when asked about the potential for the two leaders to interact at a briefing on January 20. “.

Zhao also did not approve the US decision to allow Rye to pass through US cities.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considers autonomous Taiwan to be part of its territory and must be forced to integrate with the mainland if necessary. As a result, Beijing suggests Taiwan’s de facto nation-state, including Taipei becoming a member of international institutions, foreign government officials visiting the island, or Taiwanese government officials passing through countries that have a formal relationship with Beijing. I disagree with what you might do.

The eight diplomatic partners that Taiwan has lost to Beijing since 2016 are Nicaragua, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. Nicaragua is the latest country to change its diplomatic approval when it broke its ties with Taipei last December.

Beijing is proud to continue to separate Taiwan’s diplomatic partners. China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on January 18 that “it used to be a matter of time.” [the number of] Taiwan has zero diplomatic allies. “

In November 2021, US State Department officials told reporters in a telephone briefing that the United States wanted Honduras to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

On January 21, Congressman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) Talked to Harris on Twitter and said he asked Lai to “meet in person” in Honduras.

Reuters contributed to the article.

Frank Fang

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

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