The nominee for US ambassador to Honduras has pledged that if confirmed she would work closely with the Central American country on the issue of its relationship with Taiwan.
Laura Farnsworth Dogu made the pledge on Tuesday during her confirmation hearing at the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
In her opening statement, Dogu, a career US Foreign Service officer who served as ambassador to Nicaragua from 2015 to 2018, said that the US promotes Taiwan as a “valuable partner.”
“If confirmed, I will make clear the importance of the Honduras-Taiwan relationship and do all I can to enhance Honduras’ partnerships with other democracies,” she said.
Asked by US Senator Marco Rubio if making sure Honduras does not switch allegiance to China would be a priority for her, Dogu said that Washington has sent many high-level delegations to Honduras since Xiomara Castro was elected president in November last year.
“I know that everybody that has made that visit and spoken with the new government down there has stressed the importance of that relationship with Taiwan,” she said, adding that she would take the same position if confirmed.
“I do believe it’s very important for the government of Honduras to continue their relationship with the government of Taiwan. I think it can be beneficial, obviously. It has been in the past, and I think it will continue to be so,” she added.
There were concerns over the future of formal diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Honduras, after Castro, 62, said during her campaign that she would switch diplomatic relations to the People’s Republic of China if she won.
However, since winning the election, her team has pulled back from that position, saying that the new government would maintain a “fluid relationship” with Taipei for the time being.
When Vice President William Lai (賴清德) attended Castro’s inauguration ceremony last month, the two sides reaffirmed their diplomatic ties.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
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