West News Wire: As a result of Honduras‘ decision to sever its long-standing diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, Taipei has accused Beijing of employing “coercion and intimidation” to entice its few remaining allies.
The government of Honduras acknowledges that there is only one China in the world, according to a statement from the foreign ministry on Saturday.
And the only genuine government that represents all of China is the People’s Republic of China, it added.
It continued, “Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory.”
Honduras informed Taiwan of its decision to sever ties and that it would no longer have any kind of interaction or formal contact with Taipei, according to the ministry.
Only 13 independent states now recognize Taiwan as a legitimate country.
China and Taiwan have been locked in a battle for diplomatic recognition since the two sides split amid civil war in 1949, with Beijing spending billions to win recognition for its “One China” policy.
China views Taiwan as one of its provinces with no right to state-to-state ties, a view the democratically-elected government in Taipei strongly disputes.
Honduras’s ending of ties with Taiwan had been long expected after the Honduran foreign minister travelled to China last week and President Xiomara Castro said her government would start ties with Beijing.
Shortly after Honduras’s announcement, China announced it was opening ties with Tegucigalpa.
“China and Honduras just established diplomatic relations,” tweeted Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen said the switch was “part of a series of China’s coercion and intimidation”.
“China has suppressed the international space of [Taiwan] for a long time, unilaterally endangering regional peace and stability,” read a statement from her office.
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu meanwhile said Taipei would close its embassy in Honduras and withdraw its ambassador there.
Wu said Castro, who took office early last year, and her government had “always had illusions” about China.
“The foreign ministry and embassy grasped the relevant information and handled it carefully. However, the Castro government also asked us for billions of dollars in huge economic assistance and compared prices for assistance programmes provided by Taiwan and China,” Wu said.