The Solomon Islands’ government has severed official ties with Taiwan in a new blow to President Tsai Ing-wen.
The move comes amid rising tension between Taiwan and neighbouring China, and less than four months before Taiwanese president, Tsai, is due to seek re-election.
Taiwan, which accusesits giant neighbor of buying over the Solomon Islands’ authorities, now enjoys formal relations with only sixteen countries worldwide.
Since 1949,China has claimed Taiwan as a renegade province of its own, insisting it has no right to formal ties with any nation.
Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, told reporters in Taipei late on Monday that it would immediately close down its embassy in the Solomon Islands and recall all of its diplomats.
Mr. Wu accused Beijing of aiming to meddle with his country’s presidential and legislative elections in January with “dollar diplomacy”.
Since the Communists overthrew the nationalists seventy years ago, a succession of world governments, including the US and Europe, have recognized Beijing as the authentic government of the Chinese people.
In the same vein, China has continued to insist that it reserved the right to forcibly reunite the two states, if Taiwan declared formal independence from the mainland.
China’s economic might, as well as growing military power, has been pivotal in persuading most world governments to switch allegiance from Taipei to Beijing.