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Montevideo, September 21st 2023 - 16:54 UTC



Beijing and Taiwan jockeying for influence in Honduras

Thursday, January 20th 2022 - 09:38 UTC
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Despite the costly “dollar diplomacy”, Taiwan has since lost diplomatic relations with eight countries. Despite the costly “dollar diplomacy”, Taiwan has since lost diplomatic relations with eight countries.

Next January 27, the president-elect of Honduras in Central America, a country known to live off the drugs trade and international aid will be taking office. Xiomara Castro, the first woman president of the country, and an icon of the left-wing progressive parties of Latin America promised during her campaign that her administration would cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establish full relations with Beijing, as recently happened in neighboring Nicaragua.

But apparently US diplomacy has managed to contain the situation, “Honduras must give priority to relations with the US”, and the The Global Times, China's communist party newspaper has commented on the situation pointing out to the massive funds invested by Taiwan's foreign ministry to retain the mini circle of nations diminishing in number. that still recognize the “rebel province” as the real China.

Taiwan's leader Tsai Ing-wen appointed a regional chief Lai Ching-te to represent her at the ceremony, who will also happen to meet and hopefully interact with US vice-president Kamala Harris attending the event. But points out Global Times editorial Lai will have, “to consolidate the link” turn up with a “big gift”, and describes the situation as despicable political maneuvering. One of the gifts is the announcement that 25 Honduran goods will enter Taiwan with zero tariff..

Global Times recalls that when Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, she ended the “diplomatic truce” with Beijing and arrogantly kick-started the model of “beacon diplomacy” (or confrontational diplomacy), attempting to fight a “war of attrition” against the Chinese mainland. And despite its costly “dollar diplomacy”, Taiwan has since lost diplomatic relations with eight countries

The editorial then points to several areas that need much improvement in Taiwan for its people, water, electricity, vaccines, security, and peace, and where the funds could be used improvingly, instead of buying the so called allies.

Global Times allege that billions of Taiwan dollars are invested in the foreign affairs ministry, plus maybe much more through grey channels, an amount of money enough to upgrade the entire railway system on the island, known for safety accidents; enough to renovate Taiwan's dilapidated water infrastructure and alleviate water shortage, and not to mention insufficient power..

Finally the Global Times appealing to Taiwan public opinion argues that after reunification with mainland China, the “defense expenditure” and foreign aid, accounting for about one fifth of Taiwan's fiscal budget, can be saved, and the island of Taiwan no longer needs to spend huge amounts of money to buy US weapons or pay for a protection fee. “If the money saved is distributed among Taiwan people, everyone can get at least 20,000 Taiwan dollars. But the current political leadership of Taiwan has created a crazy political black hole on the island for their own selfish ends, gobbling and ill spending what should belong to the people of Taiwan”.

Last but not least, needless to say that if Honduras has the intention of changing sponsors, it's simply because China's “gifts” or promises are by far several times those offered by the rebel island. In recently incorporated Nicaragua, for example, an alternative to the Panama canal is on the table.

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