Honduras Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Taiwan, Opens Relations with China

    Honduras Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Taiwan, Opens Relations with China
    Last updated Mar 27, 2023
    Image credit: Associated Press [via New York Post]


    • Honduras on Sunday established diplomatic relations with the PRC, formally switching its official recognition to Beijing a day after severing ties with Taiwan, thereby completing a pledge made by Pres. Xiomara Castro earlier this month.[1]
    • Democratic socialist Castro — who was elected by a huge margin in 2021 — had previously outlined plans to push for improved relations with Beijing in her pre-electoral foreign policy manifesto.[2]
    • This announcement comes days before Taiwan's Pres. Tsai Ing-wen is set to visit its now two remaining Central American allies, Belize and Guatemala, with the aim of strengthening ties. With the news of Honduras, only 12 nations and the Holy See still recognize the island as self-ruled.[3]
    • Honduras is the ninth diplomatic ally that Taiwan has lost to Beijing since pro-independence Pres. Tsai took office in May 2016, as the PRC ramps up its efforts to win recognition for its "One China" policy.[4]
    • The PRC and Taiwan have been struggling for diplomatic recognition since they split amid civil war in 1949, with Beijing claiming the island as part of its territory and rejecting most contacts with countries that maintain formal ties with Taiwan.[5]
    • In response to this shift, the US State Dept. stressed it would continue to deepen its engagement with Taiwan.[6]


    Anti-China narrative

    Honduras has taken this decision because Beijing has expanded its dollar diplomacy so as to isolate Taiwan and suppress its international participation. However, the PRC will neither be able to intimidate the democratic island nor disrupt regional peace and stability — Taiwanese people can count on their diplomatic allies and like-minded global partners to defend Taiwan's sovereignty on the international stage.

    Pro-China narrative

    Given the PRC's relevance in today's world, Honduras will not be the last alleged diplomatic ally of Taiwan to cut ties with the island and seek better relations with Beijing. This decision has nothing to do with dollar diplomacy — a practice in which China has never engaged — but everything to do with a sovereign state following its own interests instead of those of the US and Taiwan secessionists.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 13 UN member states will formally recognize Taiwan at the end of 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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