1 Dec 2003

China officially break diplomatic relations with Kiribati

7:58 am on 1 December 2003

China has broken diplomatic relations with Kiribati about three weeks after it recognised Taiwan, ..regarded by Beijing as a breakaway province.

Beijing and Taipei have been bitter diplomatic rivals since their split at the end of a civil war in 1949, accusing each other of using money -- or so-called "dollar diplomacy" -- to swap potential allies back and forth.

The switch by Kiribati brought the number of countries recognising the self-ruled island to 27.