Honduras Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina said Wednesday the country’s decision to seek official relations with China and cut them with Taiwan was about “pragmatism, not ideology.”
Reina, speaking on local television, added that the Central American country intended to keep trade ties with Taiwan, but that Honduras’ debt was one issue that motivated the need to cut ties and move closer to China.
The foreign minister added that Honduras, which is “up to its neck” in financial problems and debt, owed Taiwan some $600 million.
Honduras will also look to move closer to Brazil, Mexico, the United States and others, Reina added.
“The global situation is complicated, we need to open up,” Reina said.
The decision from Honduras puts pressure on Taiwan ahead of a visit by President Tsai Ing-wen to the United States and Central America.
China does not allow countries to hold diplomatic ties with itself and Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its own territory with no right to state-to-state ties, which Taiwan disputes.