U.S. pressuring Honduras to change its mind

2023-03-21 08:29:45China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

President Xiomara Castro of Honduras tweeted that she instructed Chancellor Eduardo Reina to manage the opening of official relations with the People's Republic of China on March 15.

On March 14, Honduran President Xiomara Castro posted on her personal Twitter account that she had instructed Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina to handle matters related to the formal establishment of diplomatic relations with China.

In fact, when Castro was running for president in late 2021, she said that if she won the election, she would "break diplomatic ties" with the island of Taiwan and establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese mainland.

Since Honduras has yet to reach a formal agreement with China, the United States sees this as an opportunity to pressure Honduras to change its mind.

"Countries should know that it is not money for nothing and chicks for free," said John Feeley, former U.S. ambassador to Panama, referring to a 1980s Dire Straits hit while trying to pressure Honduras. This is an open smearing of China and also shows the U.S.' disrespect to Honduras. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has long regarded Central America as part of its backyard without truly caring for its development.

It's worth noting that two days after the Honduran president broke the news, the U.S. State Department issued a statement on Thursday saying that Christopher J. Dodd, U.S. President Joe Biden's special advisor for the Americas, would pay visits to Panama and Honduras from Friday to Tuesday. In Panama, he was to attend the 63rd annual meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank, meet with the banking industry, regional financial leaders and Panamanian officials. He would then travel to Honduras, where he is scheduled to meet with officials and private sector representatives.

But this trip is being made to obstruct Honduras' efforts to build diplomatic relations with Beijing. The economic talks only serve to disguise the nature of it.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made Beijing's stance on the issue clear at a regular news conference in Beijing on Thursday, saying "We are ready to grow friendly cooperative relations with all countries including Honduras on the basis of the one-China principle. We believe this will create more opportunities for economic development and people's well-being in Honduras."

If Honduras and China establish diplomatic ties, there will be only 13 states having "diplomatic relations" with the Taiwan island, of which four are in the Pacific: Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands. The others being Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Eswatini and Vatican City.


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