On Tuesday, the President of Honduras, Xiomara Castro, said she will pursue diplomatic relations with China, a move that would switch Honduran allegiance from Taiwan to the communist country.
Castro announced on Twitter that she instructed Eduardo Reina, the Honduran Foreign Affairs Minister, "to manage the opening of official relations with the People's Republic of China, as a sign of my determination to comply with the Government Plan and expand the borders freely in concert with the nations of the world."
Fox News reports that China uses its billions in international investment and trade with other countries as leverage to encourage them to sever ties with Taiwan and to adhere to the one-China policy, a dictate from Beijing that stipulates foreign countries accept Taiwan as part of a unified People's Republic of China.
Taiwanese leaders maintain they are their own country, the Republic of China, as they were never part of Mao Zedong's revolution which led to the creation of communist controlled China. The first leaders of Taiwan were Mao's fleeing opposition.
China has recently increased partnerships with Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, and Costa Rica and each has accepted the one-China policy.
Taiwan is recognized as a separate entity by 13 countries globally. Joe Biden has said the US respects the one-China policy. Biden has also said that the US would defend Taiwan militarily if China invaded, including in May and September of 2022. The White House then walked that back.
Zhang Run, the Chinese Ambassador to Mexico, said, "The One-China principle is the consensus of the international community and one of the basic rules of international relations. Congratulations Honduras for this correct decision to embrace that principle! Hopefully it comes true."
Reuters reports, Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said on Wednesday, "China stands ready to establish diplomatic ties with countries in line with the One-China principle. The fact that 181 countries in the world have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle fully proves that establishing diplomatic relations with China is a correct choice in line with the general trend of historical development and the trend of the times."
Fox reports that Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Honduras should "not fall into China's trap" and that the move would damage a "long-term friendship" between Taiwan and Honduras.
Next month, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is set to visit Belize, Guatemala, and the United States for a meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.