China 'highly appreciates' Solomon Islands' diplomatic break with Taiwan

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Monday (Sept 16) welcomed the Solomon Islands’ decision to nix diplomatic ties with Taiwan, a move that leaves the self-governing island with recognition from just 16 nations.

“The Chinese side highly appreciates the Solomon Islands government’s decision to … sever the so-called ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan authorities,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement shortly before midnight.

“We welcome the Solomon Islands in seizing a historical opportunity,” she added.

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.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since the end of a civil war in 1949, but China still views the island as its territory and has vowed to seize it – by force if necessary.


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