Honduran President Xiomara Castro arrived in Shanghai Friday, starting a six-day visit to China which will include a meeting with President Xi Jinping following her government’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing and cut off ties with Taiwan.
Castro said earlier this week that she would make the trip at the invitation of Xi in the hope of building “new political, scientific, technical, commercial and cultural horizons” for Honduras.
The Honduran administration announced in March that the Central American country was severing ties with Taiwan after decades of engagement with the island, which Beijing claims as a rogue province and sovereign Chinese territory.
“The government of Honduras recognizes the existence of just one China in the world, and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents all of China,” the Honduran Foreign Ministry said at the time.
The move left Taipei with full diplomatic recognition from just 13 countries worldwide and marked the ninth defection since Tsai Ing-wen took office as Taiwanese president in 2016. It also suggested that Honduras is pivoting away from Washington geopolitically, having shrugged off US pressure not to align with Beijing over Taiwan. Honduras followed three other Central American countries – Panama, El Salvador, and Nicaragua – in switching diplomatic allegiance.
Castro, who took office in January 2022 as Honduras’ first female president, is reportedly scheduled to attend the inauguration of the Honduran embassy in Beijing during her trip.
The visit to China by Honduran President Xiomara Castro will take bilateral relations to the highest level, with greater cooperation between the two countries, Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina told Xinhua.
Honduras-China relations have just begun and we are already seeing friendship and solidarity, the foreign minister said.
Aspects such as the informative work of the Xinhua News Agency in Honduras have brought our two countries and our two peoples closer, he said.
Both Honduras and China wish to promote the reform of the international order and cooperation between the two sides in the international diplomatic arena will give a strong impetus to the development of multilateralism, he added.
The Honduran move broadens China's circle of friends in Latin America and marks a logical trend in the region that accompanies China's growing international standing.
China has been an important trading partner of Honduras since long before the establishment of diplomatic relations, so the fact is that Honduras and China have been working together for a long time. And the establishment of diplomatic relations was just a natural choice to follow the trend and face the international reality, Reina also pointed out.