Solomon Is­lands nod to China adds to squeeze on Tai­wan

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

BEI­JING — The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment scored a fresh diplo­matic coup Mon­day over Tai­wan and the United States af­ter the Solomon Is­lands, a strate­gi­cally sig­nif­i­cant ar­chi­pel­ago in the Pa­cific Ocean, sev­ered ties with Taipei in fa­vor of Bei­jing.

The is­land na­tion’s de­fec­tion whit­tled the num­ber of coun­tries that rec­og­nize Tai­wan down to just 16 af­ter Bei­jing flipped key al­lies, in­clud­ing the Do­mini­can Repub­lic and El Sal­vador, in re­cent years over ob­jec­tions from Wash­ing­ton.

Solomon Is­lands Prime Min­is­ter Manasseh So­gavare en­dorsed the switch in a Cab­i­net meet­ing Mon­day, Tai­wanese For­eign Min­is­ter Joseph Wu told re­porters.

Wu ac­cused China of con­duct­ing “diplo­macy with money” and in­ter­fer­ing in Tai­wanese do­mes­tic pol­i­tics.

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