TEGUCIGALPA: Honduras said on Saturday (Mar 25) it was ending its decades-long diplomatic relations with Taiwan, bringing it closer to China as it expands its footprint in Central America.
“The government of Honduras recognises the existence of just one China,” the Honduran foreign ministry said in a post on Twitter.
“The government of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China.”
The ministry said Honduras had notified Taiwan of its decision to break ties, and that it would not return to having any relationship or official contact with Taiwan.
Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu was expected to hold a news conference at 1.30am GMT on Sunday in Taipei.
Shortly after the announcement, the flag of Honduras was removed from inside Taiwan’s foreign ministry, according to a Reuters witness.
The Honduran foreign minister travelled to China this week to open relations after President Xiomara Castro said her government would start ties with Beijing, Honduras being one of only 14 countries to formally recognise Taiwan.
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.
The decision by Honduras to cut ties prompted warnings from the de facto US embassy in Taipei on Saturday that China often makes promises in exchange for recognition that remain unfulfilled.
After a recent meeting with US officials, the Honduran foreign minister said the US “respects” Honduras’ decision to move towards establishing formal diplomatic ties with China.
Taiwan disputed the foreign minister’s comments.