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How Honduras blackmailed Taiwan and sold out to China

By Raquel Hoshino

On Saturday, March 25, Honduras cut its ties with Taiwan, ceasing to recognize the island, and confirmed its established diplomatic relations with China.

The announcement had been expected since March 14, when President Xiomara Castro communicated via Twitter that her government would seek relations with China.

The Caribbean republic was one of fourteen countries that recognized the Taiwanese government, including the Vatican.

According to the Reuters news agency (which had access to the document), Honduras wrote a letter to the Taiwanese government before the rupture, asking for US$2.5 billion in financial aid to pay off debts and build a hospital and a dam.

How Honduras blackmailed Taiwan and sold out to China. (Photo internet reproduction)
How Honduras blackmailed Taiwan and sold out to China. (Photo internet reproduction)

But President Xiomara Castro’s March 14 announcement came before the island’s response.

According to Reuters, the Honduran foreign minister denied the reports, saying that Taiwan heard the request to buy the country’s public debt verbally repeatedly and that it sent a note to the island “about a week before” the president’s announcement.

He also said that his country’s decision was partly made due to Honduras being “up to its neck” with financial challenges and debt.

According to the agency, the governments of Taipei and Beijing mutually accuse each other of practicing “dollar diplomacy” to seek allies.

China financed a credit of about US$300 million for the Patuca III dam, inaugurated in January 2021 by the president at the time, Juan Orlando Hernández.

Since President Xiomara Castro’s tweet, Taiwan has tried to dissuade Honduras from establishing relations with Beijing and that the country should not believe its “empty promises.”

On March 15, the Honduran ambassador was at the Taiwanese foreign ministry.

After the meeting, the body released a statement that said, “The real goal of the Chinese dictatorial regime’s false and attractive promises is to remove our diplomatic allies and suppress Taiwan’s international space.”

The Taipei government said it would not engage in “meaningless” dollar diplomacy with China.

On Saturday (25), the government of Honduras confirmed that it no longer recognizes Taiwan and has established diplomatic relations with China.

According to a statement from the Honduran Foreign Ministry:

“The government of the Republic of Honduras recognizes the existence of only one China in the world and that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

On this date, the government of Honduras communicated to Taiwan the rupture of diplomatic relations, committing itself to have no other relationship or contact of an official nature with Taiwan.

This announcement was also expected since Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina had traveled on the 22nd to “promote efforts to establish diplomatic relations,” according to Honduran Press Secretary Ivis Alvarado.

The breakup comes weeks before Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s trip to Belize and Guatemala, her allies.

On the way, she is expected to stop in the United States, where the island maintains non-formal relations.

As per the commitment signed between the U.S. and China, Taiwanese leaders can meet with supporters in the United States, including members of the U.S. Congress.

The ruler plans to meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and give speeches in New York and Los Angeles.


Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said, “President Castro and her leadership team are deluded about China and raised the issue of changing recognition during the election campaign.

One of Xiomara Castro’s 2021 presidential campaign promises was establishing ties with China.

By 2022, however, the government seemed to have given up on the intention.

As reported by Reuters news agency, Taiwan is expected to vacate its embassy in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, within 30 days, Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Garcia said on local television on Monday.

China’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, also said Monday that the country’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Honduras was a “political decision” without conditions.

During a press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said that “diplomatic ties are not something to trade” when asked if China would give the nearly US$2.5 billion that Honduras had requested from Taiwan.


Honduras is the fifth Latin country to break off relations with Taiwan since 2017. According to CNN, the move is part of an offensive by China in the region.

El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic have also cut ties with Taipei in the past six years.

Relations between Taiwan and Honduras were established in 1941, the year the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan’s official name) was still in China, before escaping to the island in 1949 after losing the civil war against Mao Zedong’s communists.

Thirteen countries have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, including the Vatican, up from 22 in 2016 when Tsai Ing-wen became president.

Most are located in the Central American, Caribbean, and Pacific regions and are developing nations such as Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, and Paraguay.

With information from Gazeta do Povo

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