President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras arrived in Taiwan on Friday evening on a visit with just two months left in his term and will meet President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Saturday, according to the Presidential Office.
Hernandez, who led an 11-member delegation on his fourth visit to Taiwan, arrived at Taoyuan International Airport on a United Airlines flight at 7:40 p.m.
Tsai will meet Hernandez at the Presidential Office on Saturday morning before hosting a banquet for the delegation at noon, Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang (???) said in a statement.
Hernandez's visit is significant because it will highlight the 80th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Honduras, Chang said.
Though Hernandez has little time left in his second term, he told Honduran media before leaving that he would also solicit financing from Taiwan for construction of a key bridge related to a megaport project on Tiger Island off Honduras' Pacific coast.
Hanging over the visit is upcoming election for Hernandez's successor to be held on Nov. 28 that will be critical for bilateral relations.
One of the two main candidates in the race, Xiomara Castro of the Liberty and Refoundation party, has vowed to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China if she defeats the governing party's candidate Nasry Asfura.
If that occurs, the number of countries formally recognizing Taiwan will be reduced to 14.
According to Chang, the Honduran president is being accompanied by his wife Ana, Ricardo Cardona, secretary-general of the president's office of Honduras, Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales, Finance Minister Luis Mata, and press secretary Sandra Castillo.
Hernandez previously visited Taiwan as president in 2015 and 2016 after coming here as speaker of the Honduran parliament in 2010.
Chang said the two countries' relations have improved since Hernandez took office in 2014, and three of his children are currently working or studying in Taiwan.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel