(Tegucigalpa) Honduras will establish diplomatic relations with Beijing, President Xiomara Castro announced on Tuesday, a decision that should lead to the de facto severance of ties with Taiwan.

“I have instructed Foreign Minister Eduardo Reina to manage the opening of official relations with the People’s Republic of China,” Castro announced on Twitter, without specifically discussing the future of relations with Taipei.

Ms. Castro, who took office in early 2022, had announced before taking office her intention to immediately recognize Beijing. But she seemed to reconsider her position after a visit, for her inauguration ceremony, from Taiwanese Vice-President William Lai.

On January 1, the head of Honduran diplomacy met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng, on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. And on February 2, Mr. Reina announced negotiations with China to build a hydroelectric dam.

Beijing had already funded another dam in Honduras to the tune of $300 million, inaugurated in 2021 by then-President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Honduras is currently one of the last 14 countries to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Communist China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan, does not accept that countries can have diplomatic relations both with it and with this island.