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Honduran President Xiomara Castro headed to China after establishing ties

Castro will travel to China after receiving an invitation from her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, months after the country switched its recognition from Taipei to Beijing

Presidenta hondureña Xiomara Castro (izq.) y el presidente chino Xi Jinping (der.) | Shutterstock y EFE

June 6, 2023 8:30am

Updated: June 6, 2023 8:30am

Honduran President Xiomara Castro plans to travel to China later this week, marking her first official visit to the Asian country after establishing diplomatic ties, her administration announced. 

Castro will travel to China after receiving an invitation from her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Foreign Minister Enrique Reina told reporters at an event inaugurating China’s new embassy in Tegucigalpa on Monday. 

Hours later, Castro’s press office confirmed the visit through a tweet, indicating that the head of state would be in the Asian giant from Friday to Wednesday next week. 

“At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, I will visit on a special mission with [Foreign Minister Enrique Reina] the People’s Republic of China between June 9 and 13,” Castro said in a Twitter post on Monday. 

“The refoundation of Honduras demands new political, scientific, technical, commercial, and cultural horizons,” the post continued.

The visit comes months after Castro ended the country’s relationship with Taiwan in favor of ties with China in March. China and Taiwan have been fighting over influence in Latin America since 1949, with China claiming that Taiwan is part of its territory. Beijing does not allow a country to maintain relationships with both Taiwan and China at the same time, making countries choose to support only one of them.  

Last month, Reina said that Beijing and Tegucigalpa would “soon” engage in trade talks to boost commercial ties between the two countries. 

"We will be starting soon a process of negotiating an FTA with China, which will be good news and (provide) opportunities for access of our products to China," Reina said at the time, adding that Coffee will be the first major export that might get sent to China, given that Honduras is one of the region’s main coffee growers. Other trade agreements on the table include shipments of melon and shrimp. China is also interested in buying Honduran beef, cigars, and bananas.

On Monday, China officially inaugurated its embassy in the Central American country. 

"The Chinese Embassy in Honduras will do everything possible to fulfill the responsibilities of being the window, the platform, for relations between the two countries," said interim envoy Yu Bo.