Fri, 01 Dec 2023

Taipei [Taiwan], March 25 (ANI): China on Saturday slammed China for meddling in relations with Argentina after Honduras move to end its more than 80 years of diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of opening ties with Beijing, reported Taiwan News.

If it had not been for interference by China, Taiwan would have opened an embassy in Argentina, Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yui said an interview published by news site Infobae.

He said if Taiwan wanted to open an embassy in Buenos Aires, it would not ask Argentina to end diplomatic relations with China, per UDN. The Latin American country could manage relations with both China and Taiwan simultaneously, Yui said, reported Taiwan News.

However, Beijing would not allow this, but try and isolate Taiwan. Each country needed to consider whether this kind of demand was just, Yui said in the interview.

Yui said that Taipei never demands other countries end relations with China pointing out that China's efforts were marked by broken promises linked to projects that include a canal between the Atlantic and the Pacific in Nicaragua, and airports and harbors in El Salvador, reported Taiwan News.

He pointed out how China's efforts were failing, as more important government officials and lawmakers from many countries were standing up to Chinese protests and visiting Taiwan.

In contrast, Taiwan has recently become an important partner for Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico in the fields of economy, culture, science and technology, Yui told the Spanish-language news service Tuesday (March 21).

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ambassador to Honduras, Vivia Chang on Saturday arrived home as ties between the two worsen, with the Central American nation preparing to switch diplomatic recognition from the self-governing island to China, reported Taiwan News.

In a statement, Taiwan's foreign ministry said it had recalled the ambassador to "express our strong dissatisfaction" over Honduras sending its foreign minister and a delegation to Beijing this week.

Fears about a break started March 14 when President Xiomara Castro tweeted she had told Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina to start talks with China on opening official relations. Before winning the presidential election last year, she had hinted at a break with Taipei, reported Taiwan News.

As Honduras decided to go ahead with sending Reina to Beijing, MOFA announced Thursday (March 23) it was recalling Chang to express its grave dissatisfaction.

Honduras President Xiomara Castro announced last week that her government will seek to establish diplomatic relations with China, which would imply severing relations with Taiwan.

If the break goes ahead, Taiwan will be left with 13 official diplomatic allies, with Guatemala and Belize the only partners in Central America. President Tsai Ing-wen was scheduled to visit both during a trip starting at the end of the month, reported Taiwan News.

Taiwan and China have been locked in a battle for diplomatic recognition since the sides split amid civil war in 1949 and China spends billions to win recognition for its "One China" policy.

Under Beijing's "One China" principle, no country may maintain official diplomatic relations with both China and Taiwan. Taipei maintains a similar policy, having cut ties in the past with countries that switched recognition to Beijing.

China considers self-ruled democratic Taiwan as a part of its territory, to be retaken one day -- by force, if necessary.

Honduras would become the ninth diplomatic ally that Taipei has lost to Beijing since pro-independence President Tsai Ing-wen first took office in May 2016. She is due to step down next year at the end of her second term.

Despite China's campaign of isolation, Taiwan retains robust informal ties with more than 100 other countries, most importantly the US. (ANI)

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