Honduras’ Castro to visit China after cutting Taiwan ties
TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduran President Xiomara Castro will travel to China “soon,” the Honduran foreign ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday, without providing a date for the trip.
The announcement came days after China established diplomatic ties with Honduras as the Central American country ended its decades-long relationship with Taiwan.
Honduras’ foreign minister traveled to China last week, days after Castro tweeted that her government would seek to open relations with Beijing, which officially established ties with Honduras on Sunday.
The diplomatic shift has refocused attention on China’s growing footprint in Latin America.
China welcomed the visit “as soon as possible” to establish bilateral relations, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular briefing on Thursday.
“We are willing to strengthen high-level exchanges with Honduras, continuously increase political trust and mutual understanding and jointly promote cooperation and communication on all areas,” Mao said.
Taiwan, left with diplomatic relations with only 13 countries, has accused Honduras of demanding exorbitant sums of money before severing ties.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Additional reporting by Eduardo Baptista in Beijing; Writing by Brendan O’Boyle and Liz Lee; Editing by Anthony Esposito, Sandra Maler and Bernadette Baum)