Ahead of Sunday’s election, the US is urging Honduras to maintain ties with Taiwan, angering Beijing.
Prior to the Presidential election in Honduras Later this week, China accused the US of “harassing” Washington by saying it wanted the small Central American country to maintain a long-standing relationship with Taiwan.
China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday criticized the United States for “twisting hands and abusive behavior” which “will not do hearts and minds”.
Honduras is one of 15 countries that maintain ties with the sovereign state of Taiwan. China sees Taiwan as part of it, without a state of independence, an attitude that the Taipei government strongly opposes.
Xiomara Castro, Honduras’ left-wing candidate in the recent presidential election on Sunday, has previously said that if he wins, he will change his relationship with Beijing in Taiwan. But one of his aides said Tuesday that no final proposal had been made.
In addition to pressuring candidates for the Honduran presidency in Taiwan, a US official told Reuters that Washington had warned Central American countries of “some of the dangers China is facing in the region”.
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry thanked the US for supporting cooperation between Taiwan and its allies, and said the government would respect the outcome of the Honduran election.
Taiwan has warned Honduras not to be swayed by China’s “vain and false” promises.
Honduras and Taiwan have been in a relationship since 1941, before the government of the Republic of China fled to Taiwan after the defeat of the Chinese Civil War.
Asked about the United States encouraging Honduran candidates to maintain relations with Taiwan, Chinese Finance Minister Zhao Lijian said the United States would not find friends in this way.
He blamed Washington for “good behavior” in Central America, pointing to US years of interference in attacks and other attacks.
“Two hundred years later, the United States is still dreaming of old dreams and seeing Latin American countries as it is in its territory,” Lijian said. “This heinous act is repulsive to Latin Americans and fails.”
The US continues to maintain control over what is happening in Honduras. Remittances, which are sent by US residents, account for more than 20 percent of Honduras’ gross domestic product (GDP), according to from the Brookings Institute, the US research team.
This economic situation, as well as US strong support for the country, means that Washington has a lot of control over local politics.
The recent conflict between Washington and Beijing over Honduras talks is part of a growing dispute between the two regimes, according to experts.
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