Honduras’ retired president said on November 13 that he hopes to continue friendly relations with Taiwan after taking office, commenting that Central American countries may switch diplomatic recognition to Beijing. rice field.
“We are real friends,” said President Honduras. Juan Orlando Hernandez He told Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on the second day of his three-day surprise visit to Taiwan. “Only true friendships can be seen in difficult times,” he told Taipei’s Cheong Wa Dae.
“I would like to deepen this kind of friendship and diplomatic relations either during or after the inauguration of the president,” he said, completing the second of his two four-year terms and resigning in January. Hernandez said.
According to the Taipei-based Central News Agency, Hernandez visited Taiwan as President in 2015 and 2016 after her last visit as Chairman of the Central American Parliament in 2010.
Tsai called the arrival of Hernandez “important.” This is because it is the first trip made by Taiwan’s Latin American allies since the outbreak of COVID-19. Mr. Tsai said the two countries want to “help each other” on the international stage.
Despite a conference celebrating 80 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, their future relations are now questionable as the Hernandez party faces difficult challenges in the next election to retain the president.
Leading candidate Supported by the major opposition parties in Honduras, he vowed to establish an official relationship with China if elected. This means that the country no longer recognizes Taiwan as an independent country.
Presidential candidate Xiomara Castro also said he would legalize abortion in some circumstances.
Honduras is currently one of only 15 countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with the autonomous islands that Beijing claims to be its separatist territory, and will be forced to reunify as needed.
The Chinese administration has used diplomatic and economic methods to beat the rest of its allies. From 2016 to 2019, seven countries changed their perception from Taipei to Beijing. Honduras is under pressure to switch among the few Latin American countries to maintain diplomatic relations with democratic Taiwan.
Neighboring countries received the COVID-19 vaccine from Beijing, but countries such as Honduras and Guatemala did not, but Beijing denied that so-called “vaccine diplomacy” would gain geopolitical influence.
At the UN’s regular session in September, Honduras did not vocally support Taiwan’s international inclusion, marking the sixth consecutive year that Central American allies refrained from doing so.
Taiwan accused China of using the Honduras elections to “cause controversy” and warned Honduras not to be drawn into Beijing’s “flashy and false” promises.
Mr. Cai expressed his hope for facilitating the presidential election on November 13, saying, “I hope that Taiwan and Honduras will continue to support each other and proceed with future developments.”
There was widespread speculation about the future of Hernandez and whether the Castro government would allow him to be handed over to the United States, which is the subject of drug investigations. The president has vehemently denied any connection with drug cartels.
According to Taiwanese president spokesman Xavier Chan, three of Hernandez’s children are currently studying or working in Taiwan.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not commented on Hernandez’s trip to Taiwan.
Reuters contributed to this report.