The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China.
Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying.
The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras to express our strong dissatisfaction,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Sending its foreign minister to China to discuss the establishment of diplomatic ties “seriously hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese government and people,” the ministry said.
The Honduran government is disregarding the friendship with Taiwan that has lasted for more than 80 years, and it is ignoring Taiwan’s long-term assistance and goodwill in helping solve the country’s problems, it added.
Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Jan Jyh-horng (詹志宏) said that he “really has no comment” on China allegedly spending 10 billion to 20 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion to US$2.95 billion) to establish diplomatic relations considering its dire financial situation.
Honduras reportedly demanded US$2.5 billion in aid from Taiwan prior to the announcement, which Reina denied, saying that it was “not a donation,” but rather a “negotiated refinancing mechanism,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Communication between Taiwan and Honduras has been documented and the facts would eventually come to light, the ministry said.
The ministry has been communicating with Honduras since the announcement, which has “proven difficult,” it said.
“Honduras has asked Taiwan for large amounts of money,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told reporters at the legislature in Taipei yesterday, without confirming the exact figure.
The request came in the absence of a concrete plan for Taiwan to help Honduras, and the amount was beyond what Taiwan could do, he said.
Taiwan would not engage in “dollar diplomacy” with China, he said, adding that “the situation is dire.”
“China is clearly involved” in Honduras’ move to switch ties to Beijing, he said, adding that the ministry and Taiwan’s embassy in Honduras would “strive until the last moment.”
Honduras’ move came ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) planned trip to Central America beginning on Wednesday next week.
Beijing “welcomes Honduras’ positive stance on developing relations with China,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said yesterday.
Asked whether China was supporting Honduras to request extortionate aid from Taiwan, he said that the allegation was “very absurd and out of thin air.”
While China continues to suppress Taiwan in the international community, Taiwanese should work even harder to nurture friendship and seek opportunities globally, Wu said.
In the face of complex challenges, the ministry would uphold the spirit of tenacity, flexibility and professionalism to promote “practical diplomacy,” he said.
Additional reporting by CNA and Reuters
Indonesia has sent hundreds of riot police to a tiny island after protests broke out against a China-backed project that would displace thousands of residents. About 1,000 people protested in Batam City on Monday over a plan to develop Rempang island into a Chinese-funded economic zone, including the construction of a multibillion-dollar glass factory, that would displace about 7,500 people. Some protesters clashed with security forces outside a government agency, wielding machetes, Molotov cocktails and stones, police said, adding that dozens were arrested. Beijing has poured money into infrastructure and resource projects in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and its investments have previously caused
‘HARASSMENT’: A record 103 Chinese warplanes were detected in 24 hours, posing severe challenges to security in the Taiwan Strait and the region, the ministry said Taiwan yesterday told China to stop its “destructive unilateral actions” after more than 100 Chinese warplanes and nine navy ships were detected in areas around the nation. The Ministry of National Defense (MND) described the number of warplanes detected in 24 hours as a “recent high,” while Beijing has so far refrained from issuing any official comment on the sorties. “Between the morning of September 17th to 18th, the Ministry of National Defense had detected a total of 103 Chinese aircraft, which was a recent high and has posed severe challenges to the security across the Taiwan Strait and in the region,”
China would be making “a grave strategic mistake” if it tried to attack Taiwan, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said in an interview with CNN that aired on Sunday. Asked by host Fareed Zakaria whether the US could repel a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, Milley said: “It is entirely possible.” Milley reiterated that the US still maintains the Taiwan Relations Act, and that it wants “a peaceful outcome between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China, and whatever that is between those two peoples.” “Militarily, I think China would make a grave strategic mistake if they attempted to
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance