TAIPEI : Taiwan terminates relations with Solomon Islands.

Taiwan severed ties with the Solomon Islands last Monday after learning that the Pacific nation was switching diplomatic recognition to China, as Taipei accused Beijing of using ''dollar diplomacy'' to buy off its few remaining allies.

The switch is a major coup for Beijing just weeks before it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

And it leaves Taiwan more isolated than ever with just 16 nations left that recognise it.

Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu said Taipei had learned that the cabinet of Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had made the decision to recognise Beijing earlier Monday.

''The government hereby declares the termination of diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands with immediate effect,'' Wu said, adding Taiwanese diplomats were being withdrawn from Honiara and the Solomon envoys would be expected to do the same.

Sogavare had been under intense pressure from parliamentary colleagues who saw little benefit in staying with the nations that recognise Taipei.  [AFP]


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