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Honduras establishes diplomatic relations with China after cutting ties with Taiwan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Honduras Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang shake hands following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, at a ceremony in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, on Mar 26, 2023. (Via AFP)

Honduras has formally established diplomatic ties with China after it cut its ties with Taiwan, dealing a new blow to the island's secessionists.

“The government of the Republic of Honduras recognizes the existence of one China in the world and that the government of the People’s Republic of China represents China as a whole,” Honduras's ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory and as of today, the government of Honduras has informed Taiwan about the rupture of diplomatic relations,” it added.

China said its foreign minister, Qin Gang, and Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina signed a deal on diplomatic recognition in Beijing, ending relations with Taiwan dating back to the 1940s.

Honduras was among about a dozen small nations in Latin America and the Pacific that diplomatically recognized Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) over Beijing.

Taipei acknowledged the cut of diplomatic relations with the Latin American country shortly after the announcement by Honduras.

In a video address on Sunday, Taiwan’s US-backed secessionist leader said the decision by Honduras to cut its ties with Taipei was “very regrettable.”

Tsai Ing-wen insisted that the people on the island believed in freedom and democracy, adding that neither Taipei nor Beijing would agree to take orders from the other.

However, she also said that Chinese Taipei wanted to be part of the global community and would continue to work with like-minded countries that liked to establish ties with it.

China on Sunday confirmed that Beijing had agreed to the establishment of diplomatic relations with Honduras.

“The two governments (of China and Honduras) have decided to recognize each other and establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level,” read a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry.

“There is but one China in the world and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory,” it added.

Earlier this month, Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced Tegucigalpa's decision to establish formal diplomatic ties with Beijing.

"I instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo Reinato to begin the process of recognizing the People's Republic of China," Castro tweeted on March 14.

Castro, who won a landslide victory in 2021, had said in her foreign policy manifesto before she was elected as president that she would establish diplomatic ties with Beijing.

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