Honduras has severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan, fulfilling a demand from China, which considers the island republic to be part of its own territory. The Central American country’s government recognizes the government of the communist People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate representative for all of China, the Central American country’s foreign ministry said on Saturday. Taiwan has thus lost another diplomatic ally on the international stage.

The government in Tegucigalpa announced the move a few days ago. Mainly for economic reasons, she wants to establish relations with China, which in return demands the breaking off of relations with Taiwan. With its one-China doctrine, the communist leadership in Beijing does not allow any country to have relations with both the People’s Republic and Taiwan. Germany also only has an unofficial representation in Taipei.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory and opposes any form of official diplomatic contact between Taiwan and other countries. Beijing has been intensifying its campaign to isolate Taiwan internationally for several years. There are only 13 countries worldwide that recognize the democratic island republic of Taiwan diplomatically – including small Pacific states, Caribbean islands, some countries in Central America and the Vatican.