China is using its access to COVID-19 vaccines as a political tool to coerce several Latin American countries into cutting off official diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The move comes as an attempt to further isolate Taiwan on the world stage and expand Chinese influence throughout the western hemisphere.
While several Latin American countries have received vaccine doses from China, countries that have existing relations with Taiwan, such as Honduras and Paraguay, have not. As both states struggle to acquire the much-needed vaccines, China is using access to the jabs as a carrot, in hopes that the Latin American countries will take the bait and ditch Taiwan for the communist regime. In Honduras, high-ranking government officials have signaled that such a strategy might be working.
Earlier this month, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez left open the possibility that Honduras could open up an official trade office in China in order to obtain the vaccines. According to Reuters, “Hernandez, frustrated rich