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Taiwan Concerned about Contacts Between Its Ally Honduras and China

Taiwán preocupado por contactos entre su aliado Honduras y China, EFE

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The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry expressed on Wednesday its “serious concern” over a meeting held on January 1 between the Honduran Foreign Minister, Eduardo Enrique Reina, and the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Xie Feng, according to the island’s press.

According to Honduran media, the conversation took place in Brasilia on January 1, where Xie and Reina were attending the inauguration of the new Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

After the Honduran newspaper La Prensa revealed the meeting, Reina explained that it focused on China’s possible participation in the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Honduras.

Honduras is one of 14 countries with which Taiwan maintains diplomatic relations, including Guatemala, Vatican City, Haiti, Paraguay, Eswatini, Tuvalu, Nauru, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Belize, Marshall Islands and Palau.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry declared that the Taiwanese ambassador in the Central American country, Vivia Chang, conveyed Taipei’s “concern” to the Honduran Foreign Minister, according to the island’s CNA news agency.

Beijing is offering “false promises”, warned the island’s Foreign Ministry, with the aim of “diminishing Taiwan’s international presence”.

Taiwan “has been promoting projects that improve the livelihoods of the Honduran people for years,” the Ministry assured.

Ties between Tegucigalpa and Taipei date back to 1941 when the Government of the Republic of China – Taiwan’s official name – was still based in mainland China.

In recent years, four Latin American countries – Panama, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua – broke off relations with Taiwan in favor of the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan has considered itself a sovereign territory with its own government and political system under the name of the Republic of China since the end of the civil war between Nationalists and Communists in 1949, but Beijing maintains that it is a rebel province and insists that it return to what it calls the common homeland.