Taiwan Vice President Lai to attend new Honduran president Castro’s inauguration

TAIPEI: Taiwan will send Vice President William Lai to the inauguration of new Honduran president Xiomara Castro, Taiwan’s presidential office said on Wednesday (Jan 18).

Taiwan’s government has said it would work with Castro to deepen relations on the basis of their longstanding friendship with the country, although Castro has floated the idea of ditching Taipei for Beijing.

Castro is the first female leader of the Central American country, one of only 14 nations with formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

China views democratically ruled Taiwan as one of its provinces with no right to the trappings of a state, a view Taiwan’s government strongly disputes.

Taiwan last week cut to zero tariffs on 25 goods imported from Honduras under a free-trade agreement, offering an incentive ahead of Castro’s inauguration on Jan 27.

China has been stepping up pressure to win over Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies, last month re-establishing ties with Nicaragua.

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