Solomon Islands announces cutting ties with Taiwan

Solomon islands flag with China flag

Solomon islands flag with China flag

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen said she felt "strong regret and condemnation" over the decision, while in Beijing, the move was hailed. "The government strongly condemns this and urges people to hold on to its sovereignty and the value of freedom and democracy", said Wu, whose resignation was rejected by Tsai.

A spokesman for Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said the government's caucus took a poll on Monday, with 27 legislators voting in favour of switching allegiance to China, and another six abstaining.

AIT, the de facto USA embassy in Taiwan, commented that Beijing's active campaign to alter the cross-strait status quo, including by enticing countries to discontinue diplomatic ties with Taiwan, undermines regional stability.

Taiwan says it's terminating diplomatic relations with the Solomon Islands, after the Pacific nation's decision to change allegiances and to recognise China.

Republic of China, the official name of Taiwan, established diplomatic relations with the Solomon Islands in 1983.

Taiwan has accused China of resorting to "dollar diplomacy" and says it will be recalling embassy staff and immediately ending bilateral projects in the country. Taiwan has shown the worldwide community that, faced with the expansionism of authoritarian regimes, will stand firm on the frontlines of democracy and remain staunchly committed to serving as an example to the world. The Pacific Islands have a resource-rich ocean, a geostrategic port and a maritime boundary between the Americas and Asia. Lawmakers believe that the Solomon Islands is at a disadvantage in being one of the few countries that recognize Taipei.

Catherine Ebert-Gray, the U.S. ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, talked to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on the issue last Tuesday, while U.S. Vice President Mike Pence originally planned to meet Sogavare at the United Nations General Assembly, which starts September 17, to lobby him to maintain the status quo.

"Now I will begin exploring ways to cut off ties with Solomon Islands, including potentially ending financial assistance and restricting access to USA dollars and banking", he tweeted.

Prior to the development, the USA had been trying to help Taiwan maintain its diplomatic relationship with the Pacific nation.

He publicly stated that the Solomon Islands government would refer to four reports from government agencies, as well as public opinion expressed by civil organizations, before coming to a final decision.

Self-ruled Taiwan now has formal relations with only 16 countries, many of them small, less-developed nations in Central America and the Pacific, including Belize and Nauru.

"The government hereby declares the termination of diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands with immediate effect", according to a statement read by Wu in a press conference.

Ting also took aim at the Ma administration's recognition of the 1992 Consensus, which he claimed resulted in Taiwan's regressed position in the world.

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