The Foreign Ministry of Honduras announced that the country has decided to cut ties with Taiwan, in an expected move that follows its decision to establish diplomatic relations with China.

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday that Honduran President Chiomar Castro had given instructions to notify Taiwan of the decision to sever diplomatic relations between the two countries.

According to the statement, the government of the Republic of Honduras recognizes the government of China as "the only legitimate government representing all of China."

"Taiwan is an integral part of China's territory, and by today, the Honduran government has informed Taiwan to sever diplomatic relations and pledged not to establish any official relations or contacts with Taiwan," she said.

Commenting on the Honduran government's move, the State Department said Honduras severing ties with Taiwan was "a sovereign decision and we encourage all countries to expand ties with Taipei."

"China often makes promises that it does not keep, and Washington will continue to deepen its ties with Taiwan," the State Department said.

Taiwan has enjoyed an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory and refuses to maintain formal relations with any country that officially recognizes Taiwan diplomatically.

Establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing was an election promise made by Castro, who took office in January 2022.

The Honduran president announced the move, largely motivated by economic reasons, last week, and initially did not specify whether Honduras would cut ties with Taiwan, which is diplomatically recognized by only 14 countries around the world, many of them small Pacific nations, Caribbean islands and Central American countries.

Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Nicaragua have also recently severed ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China.

Taiwan has urged the Central American nation of Honduras "not to fall into China's trap," warning that by establishing diplomatic relations with Tegucigalpa, Beijing aims to reduce support for Taiwan among the international community, not improve the affairs of the Honduran people.