18 May 2007

Taiwan cancels PINA attendance

3:59 pm on 18 May 2007

Taiwan has cancelled its delegation to attend this year's Pacific Islands News Assocation conference in Solomon Islands.

A delegation from Taiwan's Ministry of Information, including Taiwanese journalists, was to attend the annual conference which starts in Honiara next Thursday.

However, a spokesman for the Taiwanese embassy in Honiara says Taipei decided to cancel the trip because it prefers to keep a low profile following controversy over its funding of this year's PINA conference.

In February, China protested that the Media Association of Solomon Islands, which is organising this year's PINA meeting, had accepted a donation of 65,000 US dollars from Taiwan.

The embassy spokesman says some regional media suggested MASI's plan to admit the Taiwanese delegation was compromising the aims of PINA.

He also says the recent reshuffling of the Taiwan Minister for Information added to the decision to withdraw the delegation's involvement.