MOFA voices concern over Honduras diplomatic ties

16 March, 2023

Courtesy of ICRT


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its "grave concern" to the government of Honduras after president, Xiomara Castro announced her government will seek to establish formal diplomatic ties with China.


Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yu summoned Honduras' ambassador to Taiwan, Harold Burgos to voice that concern in a meeting that lasted around 20 minutes. After he left MOFA's Taipei headquarters, Burgos told reporters that he has "not yet heard from his country's foreign ministry" and his office is "waiting for further direction."


The foreign ministry has already said the government is "not considering severing diplomatic ties with Honduras before the country announces a diplomatic switch." The ministry also says it has asked Honduras to carefully consider the situation and "not fall into China's trap by making a wrong decision that would jeopardize our decades-long bilateral friendship."


Lawmakers of the DPP and the opposition KMT have expressed grave concern over Honduras' President Xiaomara Castro's announcement to seek diplomatic ties with Beijing. The President said she has instructed her foreign minister to establish official relations with China, a move that would end its ties with Taiwan. If that materializes, it would leave Taiwan with formal diplomatic relations with only 13 countries.


While it doesn't come as a total surprise as Castro had pledged during her campaign in 2021 to establish diplomatic ties with China, lawmakers say the government has to get ready and make an immediate response.

DPP lawmaker Luo Zhi-zheng says Taiwan still needs to shore up relations with its allies and tries to win new ones. His colleague Zhao Tian-lin is also urging the Tsai Administration to do its best to avert the situation. KMT lawmaker Chen Yi-xin says it's highly regrettable that just one year after Vice President William Lai and Taiwan's representative to the US Bikhim Hsiao attended President Castro's inauguration in Honduras, she still decides to turn to China. He warns that the latest development may trigger a domino effect.


In a statement, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry has written that “Honduras is requested to consider carefully and not fall into China’s trap.”


Honduras' Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina says his country's decision to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favour of China is about "pragmatism, not ideology." According to Reina, his country is troubled with financial issues and debt - including US$600 million it owes Taiwan - and this has partly motivated Honduras' decision to open relations with China.


Speaking on local television, Honduras' foreign minister said "the global situation is complicated, we need to open up, we need investment, we need cooperation." Reina went on to say that Honduran officials are likely to meet with their Chinese counterparts in the coming days to formalize diplomatic ties, but his country "intends to keep trade ties with Taiwan."

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