Honduran foreign minister travels to China to 'promote' diplomatic ties
Reina and his delegation left Beijing from Panama, accompanied by Chinese officials, according to a source with direct knowledge of the trip
March 23, 2023 6:29am
Updated: March 23, 2023 8:53am
Honduras' Foreign Minister traveled to China to “promote” the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, signaling that the end of the Central American country’s relations with Taiwan might be near.
"On instructions from President Xiomara Castro, Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations," presidential press secretary Ivis Alvarado said.
Reina and his delegation left for Beijing from Panama, accompanied by Chinese officials, according to a source with direct knowledge of the trip.
A senior diplomat based in Taipei said that Reina’s trip to China meant diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Honduras was most likely nearing its end.
"The die is cast," the diplomat told Reuters.
Last week, President Castro announced that her government was seeking to open relations with China, leaving behind their decades-long diplomatic relationship with Taiwan.
Reina said that Honduras was considering the decision because the country was “up to its neck” in debt and other financial challenges, including $600 million owed to Taiwan.
If Honduras were to break ties with Taiwan, it would leave the island with only 13 official diplomatic allies left.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said it reached out to the Honduran ambassador on the island to express its “strong dissatisfaction” at the trip, adding that the move “seriously harmed the feelings of our government and people.”
Beijing views Taiwan as part of the Chinese territory and has ramped up efforts over the last years to win over the remaining countries that have diplomatic relations with the island.
Nicaragua was the latest country to cut ties with Taiwan in December 2021, declaring the island to be “an alienable part of Chinese territory.”