China appreciates Solomon Islands' break of "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan

President Tsai Ing Wen has been criticised over her handling of Beijing while suspected of pushing for Taiwan’s formal independence

A senior official familiar with Taiwan's security planning told Reuters Beijing had issued an "urgent order" to secure the Solomon Islands' allegiance "at any cost" on Sunday night, and called it a move to distract domestic attention from the Hong Kong issue before the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China on October 1.

Taiwan's foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said in a statement that Taipei would immediately close its embassy in the Solomon Islands and recall all its diplomats.

Taiwan announced it was severing ties with the Solomon Islands on Monday after learning the Pacific nation had made a decision to switch diplomatic recognition to China, which it said was "extremely regrettable".

Taipei has accused Beijing of splashing around huge sums of money in third world countries as a way of further isolating Tsai's independence-leaning administration, declaring that it will not engage in China's "dollar and debt-trap diplomacy".

After Tsai took office in 2016, Beijing has ramped up pressure on the self-ruled island's allies in an attempt to diminish Taiwan's presence on the global stage.

On Sept. 16, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing welcomed the diplomatic switch.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split amid a civil war in 1949.

Taiwan's representative office in the Solomon Islands called the report a "fallacy" and said the taskforce members did not conduct proper fact-finding.

Unlike China, Taiwan has democratized, but despite this, it is not formally recognized by Germany, it says.

The petition asks the Bundestag to ask the German Cabinet to establish formal relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Taiwan will hold presidential and legislative elections in January 2020; Tsai will be running for her reelection.

The move is yet another diplomatic blow for Taiwan, which has seen its few remaining allies steadily whittled down by Beijing. The Communist Party-controlled Global Times said on social media that Taiwan was now all but isolated.

But Tsai, who does not recognise an informal 1992 agreement that asserts the existence of only "one China", is anathema to Chinese leaders, who consider the agreement a non-negotiable condition for cross-strait relations.

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