A delegation of government officials from the Solomon Islands who visited China were there to study the timber industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, adding that Taiwan’s relations with its Pacific ally are strong and stable.
Several media outlets have reported that a delegation led by the Solomon Islands’ minister for forestry and research, and minister for mines, energy and rural electrification visited China last week.
The visit came at a time when the Solomon Islands is considering whether to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan or switch recognition to China.
Ministry deputy spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) downplayed the visit, saying that it was aimed at conducting a survey of the timber market in China, the Pacific country’s main export destination.
Timber is also the Solomon Islands’ main export product.
The Solomon Islands government made the trip public, she said.
Radio New Zealand on Monday reported that the Solomon Islands has launched a 100-day assessment of its priorities, adding that a bipartisan task force would conduct a review of its ties with Taiwan.
It cited Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare as saying that he was confident that the task force would provide an in-depth analysis to help develop an approach for the government to enhance its diplomatic engagements and leverage opportunities for the country.
On June 5, Sogavare told Australian Broadcasting Corp that “we are under a lot of pressure to rethink this relationship.”
“We have this relationship [with Taiwan] premised on some important fundamental principles with the United Nations, and it would be sad to see us moving away,” he said.
Ou has said that most of the lawmakers on the Solomon Islands’ 50-seat parliament support maintaining diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under