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US tries to pressure Latin American nation over China relations – Reuters – RT World News

Washington hopes to dissuade Honduras from severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan

The United States is wielding its influence to try to change Honduras’s mind about its recently announced plan to establish diplomatic relations with China, Reuters reported. The Central American nation is one of fourteen countries in the world that currently have ties with Taiwan.

Beijing refuses to maintain official contact with states that recognize Taiwan in violation of its “One China” policy. The Chinese government insists the self-governing island is an inalienable part of its territory seized by separatists.

In its Saturday article, the media, citing anonymous “Sources familiar with the matter”, said Washington hoped that in the absence of any formal agreement, Honduran President Xiomara Castro could yet backtrack on her statement on Tuesday.

Reuters quoted an unnamed US government official as saying there is little clarity so far on “whether days, weeks or months”, or if it’s just a “negotiation tactics”. Anyway, Washington “will continue to do [its] case,” added the source.

One of the arguments the United States would use to try to dissuade Honduras from shifting its diplomatic allegiance to China is that countries in the region that did so would not have reaped the economic benefits they were hoping for.

Since 2016, Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua have established diplomatic relations with China.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, Castro revealed that she had instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina “to manage the opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China” join the rest of the world in “extend the borders with freedom.”

The Honduran president pledged to do so during her election campaign in 2021.

According to Reuters, Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos met with Taiwanese diplomats on Wednesday. Taipei then publicly stated that it had advised Honduras to “carefully consider the matter so as not to fall into the trap of China and make the wrong decision.”

Currently, only a handful of nations recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country, namely Guatemala, Paraguay, Belize, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Eswatini and The Holy See.

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