4 Nov 2004

Vanuatu prime minister's controversial signing questioned

8:44 pm on 4 November 2004

The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Serge Vohor, has signed a controversial diplomatic agreement with Taiwan.

The agreement came as a shock to Vanuatu's foreign affairs officials and politicians because the government had resolved to enter into an agreement with China.

But the Vanuatu opposition party whip, Ed Natapei says the agreement may not be ratified because Mr Vohor acted without authority.

"If he had actually signed diplomatic relations without going through the process in accordance with the government act, then what he has done is illegal, and can't stand up in court."

Meanwhile, Jannette Bolenga, a researcher at the University of the South Pacific, says relations between China and and Vanuatu will be strained because the One China policy has been broken.