TEGUCIGALPA/TAIPEI, March 26 (Reuters) – Taiwan on Sunday confirmed it had ended its decades-long diplomatic relations with Honduras after the Central American country said it was seeking to open relations with Beijing as the “only legitimate government” representing China.
Taiwan foreign minister Joseph Wu confirmed the severing of ties at a news conference in Taipei and said it would close its embassy in Honduras and withdraw its ambassador there.
Earlier, the Honduran foreign ministry said in a post on Twitter: “The government of Honduras recognises the existence of just one China.”
“The government of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China… Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory.”
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 U.S. embassy in Taipei on Saturday that China often makes promises in exchange for recognition that remain unfulfilled.
After a recent meeting with U.S. officials, the Honduran foreign minister said the U.S. “respects” Honduras’ decision to move towards establishing formal diplomatic ties with China.
Taiwan disputed the foreign minister’s comments.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei and Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by Cassandra Garrison in Mexico City
Editing by Marguerita Choy, Robert Birsel
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