Monday, May 23, 2022

Vice President of America, Taiwan spoke in a rare encounter in Honduras

The vice presidents of the US and Taiwan held a brief conversation on Thursday over the inauguration of Honduran’s new president, a rare encounter that is highly symbolic and is likely to add to Beijing’s tensions with Washington.

The United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, although its strong support for the island politically and through arms sales is one of the main sources of Sino-US friction.

US Vice President Kamala Harris said she spoke with her Taiwanese counterpart William Lai in Honduras about their shared interest in Central America and the US government’s “root cause” strategy to curb migration.

“The brief conversation we had was really about a common interest in this part of the region and obviously Taiwan’s interest in our root cause strategy,” he told reporters. Lai had contacted him.

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Taiwan’s official Central News Agency described it as a “simple greeting”, adding that the two “talked briefly and naturally.”

It involved standing next to each other on a stage talking, both wearing face masks, and Lai sporting a lapel pin of Taiwanese and Honduran flags.

Honduras is one of 14 countries that still formally recognize Taiwan.

Honduras’ new president, Xiomara Castro, pitched the idea of ​​leaving Taipei for Beijing in his election campaign, although on Wednesday he told Lai that Honduras was grateful for Taiwan’s support and looked forward to maintaining their relationship.

Castro and Lai met again on Thursday, with Lai handing over a donation of supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I appreciate the solidarity, as well as the willingness to support us on our development agenda,” she wrote in a tweet.

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After meeting with Castro, Harris said he did not discuss China.

China has stepped up pressure to reduce Taiwan’s international footprint, saying the democratically governed island is Chinese territory with no right to state-by-state relations.

For November’s election, a visiting US delegation to Honduras made it clear that it wanted the Central American country to maintain its Taiwanese ties.

The United States is concerned about the growing Chinese influence in its backyard.

China last month re-established ties with Honduras’ neighbor Nicaragua and openly said it aims to reduce the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies to zero.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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