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Taiwan's deputy FM visits Solomon Islands in bid to save ties

2019/09/16 16:36

Taipei, Sept. 16 (CNA) Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) arrived in the Solomon Islands Monday to discuss Taiwan's relations with the country to save diplomatic ties amid speculation that the Pacific state will switch recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

Hsu and his delegation were welcomed by Collin Beck, Solomon Islands' deputy foreign minister and members of several non-government organizations and religious groups.

"I am going to announce more projects to help the Solomon Islands people," Hsu said upon arrival.

Hsu's visit came at a time when Honiara has been assessing its relations with Taipei and might make a decision soon on whether the Solomon Islands will shift its diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.

A Solomon Islands bi-partisan task force that was tasked to assess its relations with Taiwan and China made a recommendation to establish formal ties with Beijing before China's 70th Oct. 1 National Day, according to its report, a copy of which was obtained by CNA.

"I believe Solomon Islands people's eyes are bright ... we have confidence in you and we hope you have confidence in us, too," Hsu said, citing the long-term friendship between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands and projects that have benefited local residents.

(By Emerson Lim)Enditem/J