24 Mar 2003

Taiwan and the Solomons mark twenty years of diplomatic ties

7:05 am on 24 March 2003

Taiwan and Solomon Islands today celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The Taiwanese government, since establishing ties with the Solomons, has become a major donor.

But on the anniversary, an opposition MP has called on the Solomon's government to respect the support it gets from Taipei.

Alfred Sasako said the misuse of grants was a classic example of disrespect for the only nation prepared to stand by the Solomons when everyone else had deserted it.

He said twice this year, funds intended for the Rural Development Fund have been diverted at the request of the Prime Minister without consultation with Taiwan.

Mr Sasako has sugggested that Taipei considers using a different way to channel its funding to make sure it reaches those it is intended for.