8 Jul 2006

National party in Solomon Islands wants diplomatic ties with China

9:08 am on 8 July 2006

The Solomon Islands largest political faction in the Sogavare led-government of Grand Coalition wants to set up diplomatic ties with mainland China.

Former Prime Minister and President of the National Party, and Minister for Commerce Francis Billy Hilly said his party signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the People's Republic of China to begin trade relationship with Beijing.

Mr Hilly says if the National party formed the government it would switch the diplomatic links to mainland China.

He says the National party has nine members with the possibility of other MP's joining them.

Meanwhile the Opposition grouping retains the position that Taiwan is best for Solomon Islands.

Solomon Island established diplomatic ties Taiwan in the early nineties.