In an unexpected move, Honduras this week gave Taiwan 30 days' notice to vacate its embassy in Tegucigalpa. Those occupying the embassy were told to "pack up and leave" Honduras after ties with the country were severed. Honduran President Xiomara Castro appears to be making efforts to gain more investments and jobs from the Chinese at the expense of Taiwan and its embassy.
The order to vacate the embassy was first given via national broadcast by Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Garcia. Once the announcement had been made, Taiwan was left with no choice but to recall its ambassador. According to Garcia's broadcast, 30 days "is more than enough time to pack up and leave."
After the order to vacate Honduras, Taiwan can now only rely on the diplomatic ties of 13 countries that recognize it in some way as a "country". Most of those countries, however, are small island nations in the Pacific and Central America, most of which are U.S. allies and are submissive to Washington's pressures and influence.
While China announced in recent weeks its desire to fast-track its "reunification" with Taiwan, it seems emboldened in its ability to influence other countries to cut ties with the Taipei. In 2017, Beijing was able to suede Panama to cut ties with Taiwan. In 2018 the Dominican Republic followed suit along with El Salvador. Then, in 2019 the Solomon Islands voted to switch relations with Nicaragua doing the same in 2021 for the second time.
For its part, Taiwan has accused Honduras of diplomatic "bribery" as the country struggles with mounting debt.
It appears that at least part of the cutting of ties is due to a large debt the country owes Taipei. According to Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina, Honduras was "up to its neck" in debt. That debt includes some $600 million the country owes Taiwan.
In a diplomatic back-and-forth, Honduras demanded that Taipei offer it $2.5 billion in aid before Honduras ordered that Taiwan vacate its embassy and pursued diplomatic ties with Beijing instead.
While the Taiwan embassy staff packed their bags, Chinese state media gloated about the 'victory' of having Honduras sever ties with Taipei.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry celebrated Honduras' decision to cut ties with Taiwan and establish diplomatic relations with China as "the right choice."
"We inform sternly the Taiwan authorities that engaging in separatist activities for Taiwan independence is against the will and interests of the Chinese nation and against the trend of history, and is doomed to a dead end," Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said.
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