Taiwan will remain resilient and pragmatic and support its allies, not bowing before the “big bully in the neighbourhood”, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said on Friday (Mar 17) as the island faces¬†the loss of long-term ally Honduras to China.

On Tuesday, Honduran President Xiomara Castro announced the government would seek diplomatic ties with Beijing, which would come at the expense of Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory.

Castro’s foreign minister, Enrique Reina, said on Wednesday that the pivot to China was partly because Honduras was “up to its neck” in financial challenges and debt – including US$600 million it owes Taiwan.

Speaking at a reception in front of an audience that included ambassadors from the clutch of countries which still maintain formal ties with Taiwan, though not the Honduran ambassador, Wu said Taiwan would remain “agile, pragmatic, resilient and lovable”.