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Taiwan separatists lose key ally, Honduras recognizes China – just 12 small countries remain

Honduras’ leftist President Xiomara Castro officially recognized China. Now only 12 UN member states have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan separatists. They have a combined population of less than 39 million, or 0.49% of the planet.

Taiwan Honduras China Xiomara Castro

Update (March 26):

Honduras announced on March 25 that it officially established formal diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.

The Honduran Foreign Ministry publicly recognized the One China Policy – that there is only one China, represented by the People’s Republic, and that Taiwan is a province of it.

“The two governments agreed to develop links of friendship”, the Honduran Foreign Ministry wrote, pledging to negotiate “agreements in areas of cooperation, such as finance, trade, infrastructure, energy, technology, culture, tourism, education, and health, among others, based on mutual benefit and shared integral development”.

“With this historic decision, the Government of the Republic widens the horizon of development for the Honduran people”, the Foreign Ministry added.

Original article (March 16): 

The government of Honduras has announced that it is breaking formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognizing the People’s Republic of China.

Honduras’ leftist President Xiomara Castro had pledged during her 2021 campaign that, if she won the election, she would recognize China. This March, she fulfilled that promise.

This means that just 12 United Nations member states have formal diplomatic relations with the so-called “Republic of China” on the island of Taiwan.

The other 99.51% of the global population live in countries that formally recognize that there is only one China, and that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.

These 12 UN member states that recognize Taiwan have a combined population of only 38.9 million – representing just 0.49% of the global population of 8 billion.

The following list consists of the countries that still do not have formal relations with the People’s Republic of China, accompanied by the size of their populations, according to CIA World Factbook data:

12 UN member states:
Guatemala – 17.98 million
Haiti – 11.47 million
Paraguay – 7.44 million
Eswatini – 1.13 million
Belize – 419,137
Saint Lucia – 167,591
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 100,804
Marshall Islands – 80,966
Saint Kitts and Nevis – 54,817
Palau – 21,779
Tuvalu – 11,639
Nauru – 9,852

Non UN member:
Vatican City – c. 1000

taiwan countries diplomatic relations population

Even the United States technically recognizes that Taiwan is part of China, at least on paper.

Washington signed Three Communiqués with Beijing when the governments normalized diplomatic relations. The first communiqué, signed in 1972, stated clearly:

The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position.

Despite its legal commitments, Washington has been gradually increasing its support for separatist forces in Taiwan.

The US military has deployed troops on Taiwan island, and sold it billions of dollars of weapons. Top US officials like former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi have also made provocative trips to the Chinese province, backing separatists.

Honduras’ new leftist government breaks ties with Taiwan

Xiomara Castro (of no relation to Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro) made this historic announcement on March 14.

In a tweet, Castro said, “I have instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina to arrange the opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China, as a demonstration of my determination to fulfill the Plan of Government and expand the frontiers of liberty in concert with the nations of the world”.

Castro’s decision enraged US politicians.

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy tweeted threateningly, “The Honduran people will suffer because of her failed leadership”.

In a subsequent interview explaining the decision, Reina said that China has offered to help Honduras economically.

There are “great needs that the Honduran people have”, and, “Unfortunately, the needs are enormous, and we have not seen this response” from Taiwan, the foreign minister emphasized.

Reina also noted that Honduras is trapped in billions of dollars of odious debt owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other US-dominated institutions, and China could potentially ease this burden.

US-backed coup regimes trapped Honduras in unpayable odious debt, warns new President Xiomara Castro

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere. Roughly three-quarters (74%) of its population of 10 million live in poverty.

The United States sponsored a military coup in Honduras in 2009, which overthrew the country’s democratically elected left-wing President Manuel Zelaya and installed a brutally repressive right-wing regime.

This ultra-conservative coup regime, which was closely linked to drug trafficking, ran Honduras with an iron first from 2009 until the end of 2021. Poverty skyrocketed, and violence and organized crime became such systemic problems that Honduras had the highest murder rate on Earth.

Meanwhile, the coup regime, which blatantly stole two elections, enjoyed the staunch support of not only the United States, but also Taiwan.

In fact, during the November 2021 vote, Taiwan meddled in Honduras’ elections. Honduran activists published photos and videos across social media that showed Taiwan providing aid to the right-wing National Party, the party of the coup regime.

Taiwan has been similarly meddling in the political system of Honduras’ western neighbor, Guatemala, pressuring the country to maintain diplomatic relations.

The Associated Press reported in 2022 that Taiwan paid Guatemala $900,000 to hire a top ally of Donald Trump to lobby in Washington on behalf of its right-wing President Alejandro Giammattei, a notoriously corrupt millionaire and dual citizen of Italy.

Nicaragua’s Sandinista government forms close alliance with China

Honduras’ southern neighbor, Nicaragua, on the other hand, has a leftist government led by the Sandinista Front.

In 2021, Nicaragua broke ties with Taiwan, recognizing the People’s Republic of China. Since then, Managua and Beijing have become close allies, and the two governments are negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement.

China is helping Nicaragua expand its public housing program, building thousands of homes for poor and working families. Beijing has also signed agreements to develop infrastructure, hospitals, and renewable energy.

Nicaragua has even made plans with China to construct an interoceanic canal, which would challenge the monopoly of the Panama Canal and offer enormous economic opportunities for the Central American nation.

Nicaragua’s revolutionary Sandinista government had first recognized China back in the 1980s, but after a decade of a CIA-sponsored Contra terror war and an illegal US blockade against Nicaragua, a right-wing regime came to power in 1990, which reveretd to diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Sandinista Nicaragua allies with China, Russia, Iran against US imperialism



  1. Luís Garcia

    2023-03-17 at 00:54

    Hello dear Ben Norton,
    I am a big fan of your work, for many years, and often share you work with all the people I know.

    I just read this article of yours, updating the international support to the Republic of China, and i thought it would be interesting to share with you some more data on this issue. Please check this article of mine, with many references:

    Furthermore, I invite you to read these 2 articles (highly related with this issue) that I wrote for South Front:

    Taiwan is Chinese for Dummies

    Western Territorial Double-Standards Against China

    Keep up with your great work, you are the best journalist of our generation!

    By the way, I live in Beijing, China, and it would be a pleasure to provide you direct information from here that might be pertinent to any future article you decide to write about China.

    We are already “friends” on VK. You can find me there at anytime (@luisgarcia1981).

  2. Roberto PALMA

    2023-04-03 at 00:52

    l’Honduras si deve attendere la feroce vendetta degli USA che non tarderà a manifestarsi e lo farà con tutta la virulenza che possiede. Quindi è necessario prepararsi a questo evento, intensificando gli scambi economici e culturali con il resto del mondo e con il blocco orientale ed in particolare con la Russia e la Cina.

  3. Gulf News

    2023-04-17 at 06:38

    your post is interesting and awesome.

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