Taiwan And Kiribati Cut Diplomatic Ties Amid China Tension

Taiwan's foreign minister hit out at Kiribati's decision, calling it "deeply regrettable", adding all bilateral cooperation and aid projects would be immediately halted.

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Taiwan And Kiribati Cut Diplomatic Ties Amid China Tension

Lagoons see on Kiritimati Island, part of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati. (Reuters)


Taipei: 

Taiwan and Kiribati severed ties on Friday after the tiny Pacific nation decided to switch diplomatic recognition to China, the second defection to Beijing by one of Taipei's allies this week.

"Kiribati today officially notified us that it was cutting diplomatic ties with our country," Joseph Wu, Taiwan's foreign minister, told reporters at a hastily organised press conference.

"Today we are also announcing that we are dropping ties with Kiribati," he added.

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

On Monday, Taiwan announced it was cutting ties with another Pacific nation -- the Solomon Islands -- after learning its cabinet had voted in favour of changing its diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Wu hit out at Kiribati's decision on Friday, calling it "deeply regrettable", adding all bilateral cooperation and aid projects would be immediately halted. Taiwanese diplomats would be withdrawn from Kiribati, whose envoys would be expected to do the same.

Kiribati's defection leaves Taiwan more isolated than ever with just 15 nations left that recognise it.



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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