Anniversary of Sino-Honduran ties celebrated

By Xu Wei (Chinadaily.com.cn) 13:35, March 27, 2024

China and Honduras renewed their commitment on Tuesday to mutual support and cooperation on the first anniversary of their diplomatic ties, with officials and analysts lauding the development of the relationship as a testament to robust partnerships with China under the one-China principle.

President Xi Jinping and Honduran President Xiomara Castro exchanged congratulations, with the Chinese president stressing that the establishment of diplomatic ties was "a correct political decision made in compliance with the historical trend" and that it "serves the fundamental interests of the two nations".

Xi noted that over the past year, the two sides have upheld the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and common development, ensuring that bilateral relations started to grow from a high level.

He also expressed his high appreciation for Honduras' adherence to the one-China principle.

According to the General Administration of Customs, trade between China and Honduras grew 21.1 percent year-on-year to $1.91 billion in 2023, with exports from Honduras to China up 177.6 percent.

The two nations signed a $276 million economic and technical cooperation agreement last week to help boost the Central American nation's education infrastructure, according to a social media post released by the Honduran government.

Castro said that China, with a multimillennial civilization and a major role to play in the course of history, is a role model for the world and an important partner of Honduras.

She lauded Beijing's dedication to innovative development, its participation in efforts to find solutions to global problems and strenuous assistance with worldwide poverty reduction efforts over the past year.

Honduras firmly adheres to the one-China principle and is willing to develop ties with China that feature independence and mutual respect, she said, expressing her wish that the two peoples will enjoy a long-lasting friendship.

Castro made a state visit to China in June last year, three months after the establishment of bilateral ties.

Lin Jian, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said at a news briefing on Tuesday that the 17 cooperation agreements signed during Castro's visit to China laid an important foundation for the high-level start of bilateral relations.

The two nations have firmly supported each other on issues concerning their core interests and carried out effective cooperation in sectors such as the economy and trade, agriculture, science and technology, education and tourism, Lin said.

"The rapid development of China-Honduras relations fully demonstrates that establishing and developing relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle conforms to the historical trend and the trend of the times, and is in the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples," he said.

Fredis Cerrato, Honduras' minister of economic development, told Xinhua News Agency that Honduras has no doubt that China is a strategic and fundamental partner for its development.

"We believe we are going to be able to develop an extraordinary trade relationship in the areas of tobacco, coffee, shrimp and sugar, among other products," he said.

Last year, the General Administration of Customs greenlighted imports of multiple Honduran products, including fresh bananas, coffee beans and aquatic products, which lifted Honduras' exports to China to $81.17 million in that year.

As of March, the two nations have already held four rounds of negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, with an early harvest arrangement for the bilateral FTA, allowing for the quicker implementation of certain aspects of the agreement, signed last month.

Zhou Zhiwei, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Latin American Studies, said the exchange of congratulatory messages between the heads of state of China and Honduras showcased a strong level of political mutual trust.

The establishment of diplomatic ties has served as a springboard for cooperation between the two countries, with the wide-ranging collaboration having already delivered tangible benefits to both peoples, he said.

"This cooperation has spurred the growth of the economy, created jobs and increased Chinese investment in Honduras," he said, adding that many Chinese companies are now looking to the Latin American country for investment opportunities.

Zhou also mentioned the ongoing six-day state visit by President David Adeang of Nauru, which resumed diplomatic relations with China in January. Adeang held talks with Xi on Monday.

"There is no doubt that the one-China principle has become a global consensus, and we have every reason to believe that more countries will cut their 'ties' with the Taiwan authorities in the future and seek partnerships with China."

After Nauru reestablished diplomatic ties with China, the number of countries that have "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan region fell to just 12.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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