Taiwan vice president to visit Honduras

Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te is due to travel to Honduras later this month to attend the inauguration of Honduran President-elect Xiomara Castro.

Taiwan’s presidential office announced on Wednesday that Lai will attend the ceremony scheduled for Jan. 27 as special envoy of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

During his election campaign last November, Castro floated the idea of ​​severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establishing relations with Beijing. Lai hopes to have a separate meeting with Castro during his trip as he seeks to keep relations intact.

Honduras is one of 14 countries with which Taiwan maintains diplomatic relations.

Tsai does not approve of China’s “one China principle”, which considers Taiwan to be part of China. Through economic aid and other means, China has stepped up efforts to win over Taiwan’s diplomatic partners since Tsai took office in 2016.

Last month, Honduras’ neighbor Nicaragua severed ties with Taiwan and reestablished them with China.

Lai would visit other countries or territories during his trip. The presidential office did not give details of his destinations. But they will likely include the United States, as has been the case on previous tours by Taiwanese leaders. If he will meet important personalities is a center of attention.