The U.S. has decided to send an envoy to Honduras after the Central American country is reported to be on the verge of cutting ties with Taiwan. Taiwan's lawmakers, meanwhile, are calling on Vice President William Lai to make a trip to Honduras.
Reporter asked Joseph Wu, Foreign Affairs Minister: “Are you worried about Honduras?”
Joseph Wu enters the legislature without answering reporters' questions. Alarm bells are sounding for Taiwan's diplomatic ties with Honduras, which were first established 82 years ago. Honduras' foreign minister has said the nation may switch its diplomatic allegiance to China because Taiwan won't give Honduras more financial aid. Premier Chen Chien-jen is singing a different tune, saying it's all China's fault and Honduras should be smarter than that.
Chen Chien-jen, ROC Premier: “They have special funds for designated countries. Their initiative has been a huge flop. We hope Honduras can see China's true colors. They should keep their diplomatic ties with us and not be tricked by China.”
The U.S. has decided its involvement in the matter is needed, with President Joe Biden sending Chris Dodd on a trip to Honduras and Panama from the 17th to 21st. The official purpose of Dodd's trip is to promote economic growth and democratic development in the western hemisphere, but everyone can read between the lines.
Kuo Kuo-wen, Legislator (DPP): “The Biden administration has also sent (Chris) Dodd to try to persuade (Honduras) to change its mind. We hope Dodd will be successful and help us shore up our diplomatic relations. This kind of auction-style diplomacy is out-of-date.”
Chen I-hsin, Legislator (KMT): “William Lai just promised everyone our relations with Honduras were fine. He won't be dealing with this because he's too busy registering for the presidential elections. William Lai, are you going to take any responsibility? Why don't you head on over to Honduras to shore up relations before you turn your attention to your presidential campaign?”
U.S. officials say China reneges on its promises. Will this diplomatic crisis for Taiwan be averted? Only time will tell.