Tsai hopes for continued ties with Honduras

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen has expressed hope that diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Honduras will be maintained after the Honduran president steps down.

Tsai held talks with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez in Taipei on Saturday. The outgoing president is visiting Taiwan for three days from Friday.

The Central American country is one of 15 nations that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Tsai hailed the visit as being of great significance as it is the first by the leader of a friendly Latin American nation since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said she hopes Taiwan and Honduras will continue to help each other on the international stage and develop together.

Hernandez responded that his visit is aimed at delivering a firm message to Taiwan that Honduras stands with it amid the heightened cross-strait tensions.

Hernandez is not running in the November 28 presidential election. An opposition party candidate has said that, if elected, she will sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establish relations with China.

China is ramping up pressure on countries with ties with Taiwan by offering economic and other incentives.