11 Jul 2006

Solomon Islands reaffirms Taiwan ties

8:00 pm on 11 July 2006

The Solomon Islands has reaffirmed its commitment to diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The foreign minister, Patteson Oti, says the coalition government's policy statement recognises Taiwan.

His comment follows speculation that Solomon Islands could switch allegiance to China.

In a statement, Mr Oti says a political party in the coalition that speaks outside the scope of the government's policy statement does not represent the official government policy on the two Chinas.

He says while Solomon Islands trade with China is substantial, it does not constitute Solomon Islands' recognition of a policy shift towards China.

He says the diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Solomon Islands are based on their firm beliefs in democratic principles and values.

China, which is a one-party state, regards Taiwan as a renegade province.