- Title: Taiwan courts Central America after U.S. visit angers China
- Date: 9th January 2017
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PRESIDENTS LISTENING TO NATIONAL ANTHEMS
- Embargoed: 23rd January 2017 23:37
- Keywords: Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen Juan Orlando Hernandez
- Location: TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS
- City: TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS
- Country: Honduras
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0025YD19ON
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen praised Honduras for its loyalty on Monday (January 09) at the start of a trip to four Central American nations aimed at strengthening ties, days after she met U.S. lawmakers in Texas on a visit that angered China.
Her trip has come under scrutiny since U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sparked protests from Beijing by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai on his U.S. election win, and by questioning U.S. commitment to China's stance that Taiwan is part of one China.
Speaking in Tegucigalpa, Tsai said that Taiwan's relationship with Honduras has remained solid despite international challenges.
"The enormous geographic distance that separates Honduras and Taiwan has been reduced thanks to a long friendship that we share despite the international situation and through continual challenges that we face. Our friendship and solidarity cannot be altered," she said.
Tsai is on a nine-day tour of the region which will also take in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Central America has long been a strategic diplomatic objective for Taiwan, with many nations in the region supportive of its self-rule from Beijing.
But the region has been torn between Taiwan's generous aid and the promise of doing business with Beijing, which views Taiwan as a rogue state.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said that his nation's close ties with Taiwan has been positive.
"We have sustained an area of very solid diplomatic relations, a commercial era, an economic area which will have an effect on the Honduran people as well I'm sure on the people of Taiwan," he said.
Since the mid-1990s, almost a third of Taiwan's allies have broken ties. It now has formal relations with just 21, mostly smaller and poorer nations in Latin America and the Pacific.
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