Home Dating asia Taiwan seeks work with new Honduran government as China looms

Taiwan seeks work with new Honduran government as China looms

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Xiomara Castro, Presidential Candidate of the Opposition Free Party, speaks at the closing rally of her election campaign in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on November 20, 2021. REUTERS / Yoseph Amaya // File Photo

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TAIPEI, Dec. 1 (Reuters) – Taiwan will work with President-elect Xiomara Castro of Honduras to deepen relations on the basis of their long-standing friendship with the country, the government said on Wednesday, although she pitched the idea. to abandon Taipei. for Beijing.

On Tuesday, the conservative candidate of the ruling Honduran party admitted defeat, paving the way for left-wing rival Castro to become the first female leader of the struggling Central American country, one of 15 countries to have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan claimed by China. Read more

Taiwan, which had not offered congratulations until the official results were known, said its ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Diego Wen, “at the first moment” congratulated Castro on behalf of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

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In a brief tweet on Wednesday, Castro expressed his gratitude, saying, “Thank you very much to President Tsai Ing-wen.”

Honduras is an important friend in Central America, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said, and it is “obvious to all” of the good results of their bilateral cooperation projects.

“Based on the long-term friendship established with Honduras, our country will deepen cooperation between the two countries with the new government team led by President-elect Castro, and jointly improve the well-being of the two peoples,” he said. indicated the ministry. said in a statement.

Castro said in her election manifesto that she would seek “of course” to establish formal ties with Beijing if she won.

However, shortly after an unusual visit to Honduras last week by Brian Nichols, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Castro’s aide who drafted the manifesto said no final decision had been made. was taken.

The two have a relationship dating back to 1941, before the ROC government fled to Taiwan after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communists who established the People’s Republic of China.

Hours earlier, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also congratulated Castro, saying they looked forward to working with the next Honduran government.

As the elections approach, Taiwan has warned Honduras not to be fooled by China’s “flashy and false” promises.

China’s efforts to win over Taiwan’s friends have alarmed and angered Washington, which is worried about Beijing’s growing international influence.

Pacific island nations Kiribati and the Solomon Islands were the last countries to sever relations with Taipei in September 2019.

China views democratically controlled Taiwan as one of its provinces without the right to state attributes, a view that the Taiwan government strongly contests.

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Report by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Raul Cortes Editing by Christopher Cushing and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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