China has stated that the US is bullying Honduras after the Americans reiterated that they want the Central American country to maintain ties with China’s long-time adversary, Taiwan. The Chinese foreign minister accused the Americans of arm-twisting the Hondurans to comply and said that the US is indulging in bullying behavior. He said that such a method cannot win any heart and mind.
Honduras is among the 15 nations that have diplomatic links with the island nation of Taiwan, off the Chinese mainland. It considers Taiwan a renegade nation and part of its territory without any right to maintain diplomatic or business ties with other nations. Taiwan has strongly rejected this view.
Honduras Opposition Candidate Has Expressed Desire For Better Ties With China
Honduras’ biggest opposition candidate, left-wing Xiomara Castro, is leading in the most recent opinion polls for the presidential election on Sunday. She had previously stressed that if elected, she would shift diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China. But a close aide to Castro said that no such decision has been finalized.
US officials said that on top of pressuring the presidential candidates participating in the Honduran elections, Washington has also warned its southern neighbors that maintaining relationships with China in the region was risky.
The Taiwanese premier has thanked the Americans for helping it maintain ties with its allies. It stressed that Taiwan would respect the result of the elections in Honduras.
Taiwan has cautioned Honduras about Chinese ‘flashy and false promises.’
Taiwan and Honduras have had a cordial relationship since 1941 when the government of the Republic of China fled to the island after it lost in the civil war. A spokesperson for the foreign ministry said that Washington’s hegemonic behavior in Central and South America was abhorred by Latin Americans. He said Americans have been involved in many wars and coups in South and Central America.
Honduras earns a fifth of its GDP from money sent by Hondurans working in the US and the Americans give considerable support to the country’s economy. This gives the US huge clout over the tiny nation.