Taiwan says it has recalled its ambassador to Honduras amid moves by the Central American country to establish formal diplomatic ties with China.
Taiwan and China have been locked in a battle for diplomatic recognition since the sides split amid civil war in 1949. Honduras President Xiomara Castro announced last week that her government will seek to establish diplomatic relations with China, which would imply severing relations with Taiwan.
The switch would leave Taiwan recognized by only 13 countries, as China spends billions to win recognition for its “One China” policy.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin dismissed reports that Honduras switched relations after Taiwan declined requests to buy $2.5 billion in the country’s sovereign debt.
“We welcome the Honduran government’s positive statement to develop relations with China. We are ready to establish and develop bilateral relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Wang said at a daily briefing on Thursday.