Honduras orders Taiwan to vacate embassy in 30 days
Honduras has ordered Taiwan to vacate its embassy in Tegucigalpa within 30 days, following President Xiomara Castro’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China.
Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Garcia issued the order on local television on Monday, after the government announced over the weekend that it had opened formal diplomatic relations with Beijing while simultaneously ending its decades-long relationship with Taiwan.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory with no right to state-to-state ties, a position strongly rejected by Taipei. China demands that countries it has ties with must recognize its position. In response to the move, Taiwan is left with only 13 formal allies, mostly poor and developing countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.
Taiwan’s embassy in Tegucigalpa was for years one of the Central American capital’s most prominent foreign outposts, as well as the country’s second-biggest embassy after the U.S. embassy. Honduras’ decision to cut ties with Taiwan and establish formal relations with China was driven by a bid for more assistance from the Asian giant.
In a statement late on Saturday, the Honduran foreign ministry said it recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government that represents all of China and that Taiwan is an “inseparable part of Chinese territory.”
Garcia emphasized that China could invest some $10 billion dollars in Honduras while boosting its labor market. The move highlights China’s growing influence in the region, as it seeks to expand its global reach through its Belt and Road Initiative.
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