Thu, May 09, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Solomon Islands ties are ‘shipshape,’ ministry says

PORT CALL:Some Solomon Islands officials are inclined toward China, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu said, but denied reports of a possible switch to Beijing

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Children wave the Republic of China (ROC) and Solomon Islands national flags as they welcome the ROC Navy’s fast combat support ship Panshi to the Solomon Islands in an undated photograph.

Photo provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Taiwan’s relations with the Solomon Islands are “shipshape and Bristol fashion,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter yesterday as Taiwanese officials gave Solomon Islands officials a tour of a Republic of China (ROC) Navy vessel.

The Solomon Islands is one of Taiwan’s 17 diplomatic allies.

Speculation about a possible souring of ties arose after the Australian on Wednesday last week reported that newly elected Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said that his government was considering whether to cut ties with Taiwan and switch allegiance to China.

At a meeting in Taipei of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign and National Defense Committee on Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that ties between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands are stable, although certain Solomon Islands officials in the administration are more inclined toward China.

Solomon Islands Cabinet members regularly review important issues after general elections, which was nonetheless exaggerated into a re-evaluation of its ties with Taiwan, Wu said, adding that collaborative programs between the two nations are working well and would continue.

The ministry yesterday on Twitter reaffirmed the bilateral rapport by posting several photographs of an ROC Navy squadron as it reached the Solomon Islands after visiting the Marshall Islands last week.

The squadron is led by the Panshi fast combat support ship — the nation’s largest naval vessel — which last week started its midshipmen training cruise in the Pacific Ocean, it said.

ROC Navy Rear Admiral Wang Kuo-chiang (王國強) and Ambassador to the Solomon Islands Roger Luo (羅添宏) gave Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele and other officials a tour of the ship, it added.

In related news, the ministry yesterday thanked the US House of Representatives for passing the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2019, which backs Taiwan’s participation in international organizations and urges it to increase defense spending.

The ministry said that it also appreciated the US House’s passage of a resolution reaffirming the US’ commitment to Taiwan and to the implementation of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act.

Taiwan’s friends in the US demonstrated their firm support for the nation with pragmatic action, which is a significant and positive move, the ministry said, adding that it would continue working with the US to prudently deepen bilateral relations.

This story has been viewed 2340 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top