Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday denounced Beijing’s “constant threats” against her island before the Parliament of Belize, her only remaining ally, along with Guatemala, in Central America after the breakup of Honduras. Taiwan faces “constant threats and pressure” from China, Tsai said. “The neighbor across the Taiwan Strait” is unhappy, she said, that the nationalist island has “strengthened its relations in recent years with democracies around the world”.

The President of Taiwan, who is concluding a tour of her two Central American allies in Belize, lamented that her island “continues to be excluded from international organizations and to be able to serve as an active member of the international community”. She hailed Belize as “the strongest advocate for participation” of the nationalist island in the international concert and as “the voice of Taiwan’s 23 million people”.

Ms. Tsai’s tour of Guatemala and Belize comes a week after Honduras decided to follow the example of four other Central American countries that chose to forge diplomatic ties with Beijing at the expense of Taiwan. After the break with Honduras, only 13 states in the world recognize Taiwan. In the name of the “One China” principle, Beijing does not allow any country to have relations with both mainland China and the nationalist island.

Ms. Tsai will fly from Belize to California on Tuesday where she is to meet the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy. China has promised to “fight back” to a possible meeting between the two officials. Washington, which nevertheless granted its diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, is the most powerful ally of the island as well as its main supplier of arms.

Last August, the visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, then president of the American House of Representatives, had already provoked the ire of Beijing. China had retaliated with massive military exercises around the island — an unprecedented show of force. “We urge the United States not to continue to play with fire on the Taiwan issue…Those who play with fire will perish by fire.” It’s not a threat, “said Xu Xueyuan, charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy, ​​in Washington.