Honduras has decided to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, describing it as an economic necessity.
If completed, that means Taiwan would be recognised by just 13 nations, marking the latest victory in Beijing’s long-running campaign to isolate the island on the world stage.
WHY DOES RECOGNITION MATTER TO BEIJING?
At the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Mao Zedong’s communist forces successfully pushed out Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists, who relocated to Taiwan.
The island has been self-ruled since, but Beijing considers it a part of its territory, to be taken one day, by force if necessary.
China also bristles at any attempt to treat the island as an independent nation-state. Under its “One China” principle, no country may maintain official diplomatic relations with both China and Taiwan.