TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: After Honduran President Xiomara Castro severed ties with Taiwan in favor of China to gain more investment and create jobs, Deputy Foreign Minister Antonio Garcia said this week that Taiwan must vacate its embassy within 30 days.
Garcia issued the order on local television, after the government announced over the weekend that it had established diplomatic relations with Beijing, which effectively ended its decades-long relationship with Taipei.
In his statement, Garcia stressed the need for a Honduran diplomatic mission to China.
"We have to go there to explore the big projects that China can give us," he said, noting that China could invest some $10 billion in Honduras.
Honduran students with scholarships in Taiwan can transfer their studies to China, the foreign ministry also said.
Taipei's embassy in Tegucigalpa was the country's second-largest embassy, after the US embassy.
In response to the announcement, Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jeff Liu noted that 30 days was an "international norm," and that they would comment further later.
Regarding scholarships for Honduran students, Liu said they would last until the end of the current term, and then the students would be provided one-way tickets home.
The move leaves Taiwan with only 13 diplomatic allies, mainly developing countries in Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
In its own statement this, the conservative opposition, the National Party, said that if it can retake the Honduran presidency in 2026, it will re-establish ties with Taiwan.
"We will do the impossible to restore relations with our brothers and sisters in the Republic of Taiwan," it added.