Sun, Dec 30, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Honduras likely to recognize PRC

LOSING FRIENDS:A statement from Taiwan’s Central American ally suggested it would switch recognition, after MOFA said dual recognition was unacceptable

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The Honduran government looks likely to switch its recognition from Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), saying that it respects the “political principle of ‘one China’” and that it has never considered a policy of dual recognition.

In a four-point statement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Honduras on Friday, the Central American country, whose diplomatic ties with the Republic of China date back to 1941, said its relationship with China has been developing for some months.

Honduras said that not interfering in a country’s internal affairs was a guiding principle in bilateral relations and that it would not accept conditions of any nature from another country regarding its external relations.

In Taipei, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday that the ministry remained confident that Taiwan retains normal and solid diplomatic ties Honduras.

“I can guarantee 100 percent that [Honduras’ shift in allegiance to Beijing] is a non-issue,” he said.

The Honduran statement followed Lin’s remarks on Tuesday that Taiwan will not accept that its political allies adopt dual recognition of Taiwan and China.

Lin made the remarks in response to questions about whether Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa, in a statement on Dec. 19, had suggested that dual recognition of Taiwan and China was likely.

Lobo had said that his country intends to open diplomatic relations with China and that should not affect relations with Taiwan.

Saying that the latest statement by Honduras was a reaction to his remarks on Tuesday, rather than one initiated by Tegucigalpa of its own accord to send any new messages to Taiwan, Lin said Honduran authorities may have misunderstood what he had said about the government’s stance on dual recognition by its allies that led to the statement.

Lin at that time said that Taipei did not consider dual recognition acceptable.

“I wasn’t talking about the case of Honduras, but in general,” Lin said yesterday.

Lin reiterated that Tegucigalpa has given Taipei “two assurances” that made the ministry “see no problems in bilateral ties” with the current postures being taken by Honduras to seek to develop closer economic and trade relations with China.

Honduran Foreign Minister Arturo Corrales Alvarez assured Ambassador Joseph Kuo (郭永樑) when they met on Dec. 21 that the country had yet to finalize a plan to set up a trade office in China and that its ties to Taiwan remain solid and would not be affected by Tegucigalpa forging an economic and trade relationship with Beijing, Lin said.

The earlier statement made by Lobo, on the Web site of the Presidential Office of Honduras, indicated Lobo’s intention to establish diplomatic ties with China, prompting Kuo to request a meeting with Corrales to seek clarification.

Kuo also requested a meeting with Lobo, but this was not set up.

Director-general of the ministry’s Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Jaime Wu (吳進木) said yesterday that Lobo is on an oversea trip and arrangements for Kuo to meet with Lobo after he returns to Honduras are underway.

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