China Gloats After Honduras Tells Taiwan To "Pack Up & Leave" Embassy
This week Honduras delivered a shock to Taiwan and its powerful backer Washington, as the Honduran government ordered Taiwan to vacate its embassy in the country within 30 days. As Reuters underscored in its biting headline Tuesday, Taiwan was told to 'pack up and leave' Honduras after ties severed. Adding insult to injury, driving President Xiomara Castro's decision are efforts to gain more Chinese investment and jobs, at a moment diplomatic ties have been formally established with Beijing.
The vacate order was first announced deputy foreign minister Antonio Garcia on national broadcast TV. Taiwan was forced to then recall its ambassador. Garcia explained that 30 days "is more than enough time to pack up and leave."
Now Taiwan is left with a mere 13 diplomatic allies left in the world which recognize it as a "country" in some sense. But these are mostly tiny island nations in Central America and the Pacific, many of which are Washington allies and often bow to US pressure.
China is feeling emboldened after a streak of recent "wins" going back to 2017, when Panama severed ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing. Then the following year, the Dominican Republic did the same, along with El Salvador, and then there was Solomon Islands which voted in 2019 to switch relations and Nicaragua in 2021 (for the second time switching).
Taiwan has accused Honduras of diplomatic "bribery" while facing mounting debt:
Honduras’s decision to break its relationship with Taiwan came after weeks of diplomatic back-and-forth over Honduras’s mounting debt problems. Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina this month said the country was “up to its neck” in debt, including $600 million owed to Taiwan.
Honduras demanded Taiwan provide $2.5 billion in aid before the Central American nation announced it would seek open ties with China, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Chinese state media celebrated the 'victory' and promised it won't be last. For example Global Times put out the gloating headline, "Honduras not to be the last to 'sever diplomatic ties' with Taiwan island".
The below are words from the state-run editorial shaking a fist at Taiwan and its backers in the West:
No matter how anxious the DPP authorities are, and no matter how many times Washington sends officials to coerce and lure, it always ends up with Taiwan's "diplomats" packing up and leaving, often in a very embarrassing manner. This is not only a shame for the DPP authorities, but also a manifestation of the increasing loss of support and popularity of Taiwan secessionist forces in the international community. It's also an ironclad proof that "Taiwan independence" is a dead end and cannot have a way out.
Tsai regards the US as the world😄Just got slapped in the face by Honduras, governor Tsai of Taiwan province is going to the US, seeking for a little comfort. Going to the United States for a “transit” is governor Tsai’s route of sleepwalking. https://t.co/wwXNVyA8Co— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) March 29, 2023
The Chinese Foreign Ministry hailed Honduras' move to established diplomatic ties with China and sever relations with Taiwan as "the right choice".
Foreign Minister Qin Gang declared: "We inform sternly the Taiwan authorities that engaging in separatist activities for Taiwan independence is against the will and interests of the Chinese nation and against the trend of history, and is doomed to a dead end."