Tsai blames Beijing for Solomon Islands' decision

Taiwan says Solomon Islands switches recognit...

Solomon Islands recognizes Beijing as diplomatic stranglehold tightens around Taiwan

Taiwan now has formal relations with only 16 countries worldwide, but China claims Taiwan as its territory and says it has no right to formal ties with any nation.

The Solomon Islands' government has cut official ties with Taiwan in a new blow to President Tsai Ing Wen, who is seeking re-election in January amid rising tension with China.

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

"It is absolutely evident that China, through this case, deliberately seeks to influence Taiwan's upcoming presidential and legislative elections", Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told a news conference at 6:30pm. The Communist Party-controlled Global Times said on social media that Taiwan was now all but isolated.

It came after months of speculation that the Solomon Islands was considering a diplomatic switch to Beijing.

"The government hereby declares the termination of diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands with immediate effect, the end of all bilateral co-operative projects, as well as the recall of the staff of its Embassy, technical mission, and medical mission stationed in Solomon Islands", the statement said.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"The government strongly condemns China's attempts to suppress Taiwan and calls on the people of Taiwan to continue to uphold our national sovereignty, champion the principles of freedom and democracy, reach out to the global community and serve as a force for good in the world", Wu said.

Other countries which have switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China since 2016 include Panama, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Burkina Faso and Sao Tome and Principe.

Taipei, Taiwan. The island democracy of 23 million people elected President Tsai Ing-wen, who is bitterly opposed by the Communist government in Beijing.

Most countries in the world recognize Beijing as the government of China, and China has been wooing the remaining ones to abandon Taiwan.

The source said the rupture in ties had prompted expressions of concern from countries including the United States, Australia and New Zealand, who had been involved in efforts to help Taiwan secure ties with the Solomon Islands.

The Solomons Prime Minister's office did not immediately respond to questions.

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