Stabroek News

Honduras president says govt to seek official relations with China

- Ecuador lawmakers declassify documents in bid to impeach Lasso

TEGUCIGALP­A/TAIPE I, (Reuters) - Honduras President Xiomara Castro said yesterday she had instructed the country’s foreign minister to bring about the opening of official relations with China, a move that threatens to further diminish Taiwan’s dwindling pool of allies.

Castro made the statement on Twitter.

The leader of the Central American country had floated the idea of cutting ties with Taiwan and starting relations with China during her electoral campaign, but said in January 2022 she hoped to maintain ties with Taiwan.

China has intensifie­d pressure to reduce Taiwan’s internatio­nal footprint, saying the democratic­ally governed island is Chinese territory with no right to state-to-state ties.

Castro said in the tweet the decision is “a sign of my determinat­ion to fulfill the government plan and expand borders.”

Honduras’ foreign ministry did not immediatel­y reply to a request for comment on the announceme­nt.

Opposition lawmaker Tomas Zambrano told local TV the decision would likely affect the country’s relationsh­ip with the United States, its top trade partner, noting that many families depend on remittance­s sent from the north.

China does not allow countries with which it has diplomatic relations to maintain official ties with Taiwan.

If Honduras breaks off its relations with Taiwan, it would leave Taiwan with formal diplomatic ties with only 13 countries.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it was “in the process of understand­ing” the situation, without giving further details.

A source familiar with the situation in Taiwan said the island needed to exhaust “every possible means” to maintain diplomatic ties with Honduras.

In December 2021, Nicaragua broke its longstandi­ng ties with Taiwan, switching allegiance to China and declaring that “Taiwan is an inalienabl­e part of the Chinese territory.”

GENEVA, (Reuters) - Poorer countries are increasing­ly losing healthcare workers to wealthier ones as the latter seek to shore up their own staff losses from the COVID19 pandemic, sometimes through active recruitmen­t, the World Health Organizati­on said yesterday.

The trend for nurses and other staff to leave parts of Africa or Southeast Asia for better opportunit­ies in wealthier countries in the Middle East or Europe was already under way before the pandemic but has accelerate­d since, the U.N. health agency said, as global competitio­n heats up.

“Health workers are the backbone of every health system, and yet 55 countries with some of the world’s most fragile health systems do not have enough and many are losing their health workers to internatio­nal migration,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu­s, the WHO director-general.

He was referring to a new WHO list of vulnerable countries which has added eight extra states since it was last published in 2020. They are: Comoros,

QUITO, (Reuters) - Ecuador’s national assembly yesterday voted to declassify documents tied to investigat­ions into allegation­s of corruption at public companies, in a bid to shore up impeachmen­t charges against President Guillermo Lasso.

Earlier this month a majority of lawmakers in the assembly, whose members have repeatedly clashed with conservati­ve Lasso, backed a report accusing him of connection­s to possible crimes against state security and public administra­tion, assertions rejected by the government.

Though the assembly backed the non-binding report, which stemmed from ongoing investigat­ions by the attorney general

Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, East Timor, Laos, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Jim Campbell, director of the WHO’s health workforce department, told journalist­s safeguards for countries on the WHO list were important so they “can continue to rebuild and recover from the pandemic without an additional loss of workers to migration”.

Some 115,000 healthcare workers died from COVID around the world during the pandemic but many more left their profession­s due to burnout and depression, he said. As a sign of the strain, protests and strikes have been organised in more than 100 countries since the pandemic began, he added, including in Britain and the United States.

“We need to protect the workforce if we wish to ensure the population has access to care,” said Campbell.

Asked which countries were attracting more workers, he said wealthy OECD countries and Gulf states but added that competitio­n between African countries had also intensifie­d. into alleged graft at state companies, the opposition is still examining which charges it wants to bring against Lasso and has not yet formally requested impeachmen­t hearings.

The government made no immediate comment, but has said previously the report’s findings are based on coincidenc­es and conjecture. Lasso has denied corruption accusation­s and said his government will cooperate fully with the investigat­ions by the attorney general’s office.

Tuesday’s resolution, adopted in a private session of the assembly’s 137 members, allows legislator­s access to the presidency’s visitor logs and informatio­n from the companies regulator.

“We have unanimousl­y approved both the lifting of the classifica­tion of the informatio­n from the Superinten­dency of Companies - the box was opened in our presence - and the lifting of the classifica­tion of the logs from the presidency,” Pachakutik party lawmaker Darwin Pereira told journalist­s.

 ?? ?? President Guillermo Lasso
President Guillermo Lasso
 ?? ?? Xiomara Castro
Xiomara Castro

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