After the civil war in 1949, the Communist Party ruled China and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan. While now-democratic Taiwan maintains its own borders, military and government, Beijing has invoked the disputed 1992 “one China” framework, negotiated with a previous Taiwanese administration, to claim the island.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is scheduled to stop Wednesday in the United States — which recognizes but does not endorse China’s claim to Taiwan — en route to Central America, in a trip that could raise tensions with Beijing.
From the one-China policy to the Taiwan Relations Act, here’s what to know
Here’s what to know about getting out of Honduras and Taiwan’s diplomatic situation.
Why did Honduras cut ties with Taiwan?
Honduras’ relationship with Taiwan, which dates back to the 1940s, initially centered on antipathy toward communism during the Cold War. It grew in trade after their economic liberalization, the Institute for Security and Development Policy was noted, adding that Taiwan provided development assistance to Honduras and received diplomatic support in return.
Honduras’ decision to sever ties with Taiwan comes after weeks of diplomatic back-and-forth over Honduras’ mounting debt problems. Honduran Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina said this month that the country is “up to its neck” in debt, including a $600 million debt to Taiwan.
Honduras asked Taiwan to provide $2.5 billion in aid before the Central American country announced it would seek open relations with China, according to Reuters.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu accused Honduras of asking for an exorbitant amount, adding that Honduras’ request was “a bit like a bribe.” Tsai reiterated these frustrations, saying her country will not engage in a “pointless contest of dollar diplomacy with China.”
The loss of Honduras leaves Taiwan with 13 diplomatic allies. Who are they?
Taiwan’s allies are concentrated in Latin America and the Caribbean. Tsai will visit the two most prominent, Guatemala and Belize, on her upcoming trip.
Guatemala is a vocal supporter of Taipei and reliable economic partner following a free trade agreement effective in 2007. Taiwan has invested millions of dollars in manufacturing, agriculture and tech businesses in Guatemala. When it became clear that Honduras was aligned with China, Guatemala’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that it recognizes Taiwan as an independent country with which it has good diplomatic relations and a strong friendship.
BelizeThe Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Ministry said in a tweet this month that it recognizes Taiwan as a “sovereign and independent nation” and will strive to strengthen bilateral relations.
Paraguaygovernment of said on Twitter that it shared democratic values with Taiwan, reiterating its cooperation.
How did Taiwan get involved in Haiti’s political crisis?
Other allies in the region include Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia.
Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies are in the Pacific — including The Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu – as well as Eswatini in Africa and the Holy See (the Vatican City) in Europe.
Which countries cut ties with Taiwan recently?
Honduras became the ninth country to cut ties with Taipei since Tsai took office in 2016.
In Africa, the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe cut ties with Taiwan in 2016, in a decision by researcher David An labeled “surprisingly.” He noted in a brief for the US-based Global Taiwan Institute that the break involved a “complex mix of diplomacy, politics, economics and even personal relationships with elites.” In 2018, Burkina Faso Subsequently, its foreign ministry cites socioeconomic challenges.
In the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic cut ties in 2018. It said it would recognize Taiwan as part of China’s territory, the Associated Press reported, citing the presidential office as saying the change was due to its “needs, potential and future prospects.”
In Central America, Panama moved diplomatic relations with China in 2017, with its president calling the move the “right path” for the country. He said China is the second largest user of the Panama Canal.
El Salvador It closed its doors in Taiwan in 2018. At the time, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry accused China of conducting “dollar diplomacy.”
Nicaragua in 2021 cut ties with Taiwan for the second time following a period of worsening relations with the United States, which imposed sanctions on a national security adviser to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. It had previously broken ties in 1985, resuming their relationship in 1990.
In Oceania, the government of Solomon Islands vote in 2019 to switch diplomatic relations with Beijing. A few days later, Taiwan’s support disappeared Kiribati, where China has pledged billions of dollars in aid, the Associated Press reported.
Meaghan Tobin contributed to this report.