Taiwan has no problem accepting dual recognition of Taiwan and China by Taiwan's diplomatic allies, President Chen Shui-bian (
"Honduras can be friends of Taiwan and China, but I don't think Beijing will like the idea," Chen said. "Taiwan and China have close relations in trade activities but such relations do not change the diplomatic ties between the two countries."
Chen made the remarks while talking to La Prensa and El Heraldo on Wednesday. The two Honduran dailies published their stories in Thursday's editions.
The newspapers asked Chen whether Honduras could be friends of both Taiwan and China as Honduras has diplomatic relations with Taiwan but enjoys close business ties with China.
Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (
Shieh said Chen told the newspapers that he was not worried that Costa Rica's switch of recognition to China would cause a domino effect because Taiwan's diplomatic friendships were built on shared values of freedom and democracy.
After the switch by Costa Rica, Taiwan's other diplomatic allies in the region have given assurances that their ties remain strong, Shieh said.
Central and South America are vital diplomatic battlegrounds for Taiwan. Among the nation's 24 diplomatic allies, 12 are located in the regions -- Belize, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenadines and St. Lucia.