Honduras president says govt to seek official relations with China
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.