Taiwan breaks relations with the Solomon Islands after the latter chooses China

The Solomon cabinet approved the switch to the mainland with 27 votes for, none against, and six abstentions. The number of countries that still recognise Taiwan is now 16. Since 2016, Beijing stepped up its campaign against Taiwan, following the election of President Tsai Ing-wen.


Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Government of Taiwan has ended diplomatic relations with the Solomon Islands, following the Pacific nation’s decision to establish formal relations with China, a move Taipei described as "extremely regrettable".

The coalition government led by the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Monday approved the switch by 27 votes in favour, none against and six abstentions.

The blow to Taipei’s hopes of retaining its diplomatic ties to the Solomon Islands came as Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-Chien arrived with a delegation in Honiara, telling reporters upon arrival that he would announce more projects for the people of the Pacific nation.

Only 16 nations still diplomatically recognise Taiwan over China. Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation since the end of a civil war in 1949, but China views it as its territory and has vowed to seize it — by force if necessary.

Over the decades, as China’s economic and military power has grown, dozens of countries, including the United States and most Western nations, have switched recognition, legitimising Beijing. By contrast, only a handful of countries have remained loyal to Taiwan, largely in Latin America and the Pacific.

Since 2016, Beijing has stepped up its campaign to isolate Taiwan, following the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, the country’s first woman head of state. Her party has refused the idea that the island is part of “one China”.

Since her election, six countries have defected, namely El Salvador, Burkina Faso, São Tomé and Príncipe, Panama and the Dominican Republic.