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Honduras Vice President Maria Antonia Rivera Rosales, left, greets Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te, in Honduras, Jan. 26, 2022. Lai led a Taiwanese delegation to take part in the inauguration ceremony of Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro.
Taiwan Presidential Office/AP

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Honduras President Xiomara Castro announced Tuesday that her government will seek to establish diplomatic relations with China, which would imply severing relations with Taiwan.

Castro said on her Twitter account that she instructed Honduran Foreign Affairs Minister Eduardo Reina to start negotiations with China and that her intention is “to expand the borders with freedom.”

Honduras is one of the few remaining allies of Taiwan, and Castro’s announcement represents a change on its diplomatic views.

Taiwan’s official Central News Agency quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry official as saying they were “in the process of ascertaining the situation” and had no further details.

China claims self-ruled, democratic Taiwan is part of its territory and sees diplomatic recognition of the island as interference in its affairs. Beijing has isolated Taiwan diplomatically with a long campaign against such recognition under the “one-China” policy.

In January 2022, the foreign affairs minister told The Associated Press that Honduras would continue strengthening ties with Taiwan and establishing a diplomatic relationship with China was not a priority for Castro.

It’s not clear what made the government change its mind.

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