Honduras to seek China relations

The president of Honduras says the Central American country is now seeking to establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 14 countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Honduran President Xiomara Castro said in a social media post on Tuesday that she has instructed the foreign minister to start negotiations with China. The president added that she decided to do so to expand borders.

Castro assumed presidency in January last year. During the election campaign, she had suggested letting her country establish diplomatic ties with China. But she met Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te when he visited Honduras to attend her inauguration ceremony, and she had expressed her hope of maintaining relations with Taiwan.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Taiwan's foreign ministry said it conveyed concerns to the Honduran government. It warned Honduras not to fall into China's trap, noting that China's sole intention behind establishing ties with Honduras is to pressure Taiwan internationally.

Honduras' move comes ahead of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's planned visit to Central America next month, which is expected to take her to Belize and Guatemala. The two countries each have diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Britain's Financial Times newspaper reported earlier this month that during her trip, Tsai will make a stop in the United States, where she will meet with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

China has reacted sharply to the news.