Honduras opens embassy in China after severing ties with Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — Honduras opened an embassy in Beijing on Sunday, Chinese state media reported, months after the Central American nation cut ties with Taiwan to establish diplomatic ties with China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and his Honduran counterpart Enrique Reina attended the inauguration of the embassy on Sunday morning, China’s official CCTV reported. The report says Honduras has yet to determine the permanent location of the embassy and will increase its staff.

The symbol of strengthening diplomatic relations between the two sides appeared during Honduran President Xiomara Castro’s six-day visit to China.

Honduras established official relations with China in March, becoming the latest in a series of countries to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. China regards autonomous Taiwan as a breakaway province, to be taken over by force if necessary, and prohibits its own diplomatic partners from having formal ties with Taipei.

Castro arrived in Shanghai on Friday in her first visit since ties were established. During her stay in Shanghai, she visited the headquarters of the New Development Bank, a bank established by the BRICS countries, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Honduras has applied for admission to the bank, Castro’s office tweeted on Saturday.

The president also visited a research center of tech giant Huawei before arriving in Beijing on Saturday evening, China’s official Global Times newspaper reported.

The ties formed in March were a diplomatic victory for China amid heightened tensions between Beijing and the United States, particularly over China’s growing assertiveness towards self-governing Taiwan. It also signaled China’s growing influence in Latin America.

China and Taiwan have been locked in a battle for diplomatic recognition since separating amid civil war in 1949, with Beijing spending billions to gain recognition for its “one China” policy.

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