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Taiwan breaks diplomatic ties with Solomon Islands

2019/09/16 18:44:55

Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮, center)

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) Taiwan has cut diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands as the South Pacific island-nation has decided to switch diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced Monday.

Earlier in the day, Solomon Islands' Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement voted 27-0, with six abstentions, to establish diplomatic ties with China. The decision was later approved by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

The severing of ties on Monday leaves Taiwan with only 16 diplomatic allies. It came after months of speculation that the Solomon Islands was considering a diplomatic switch to Beijing.

The Solomon Islands has been assessing its relations with Taiwan since Sogavare took office after a general election in April.

A cross-party task force in the Solomon Islands recently submitted a report to the government there, recommending that the nation sever its long-standing ties with Taiwan and switch diplomatic allegiance to China by mid-September, according to a copy of the report obtained by CNA on Sept. 13.

(By Christie Chen and Emerson Lim)