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Beijing lauds Solomon Islands' move to break ties with Taiwan authorities

By CAO DESHENG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-17 07:35

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying holds a weekly press briefing, file photo. [Photo/IC]

China highly commends the decision of the Solomon Islands' government to recognize the one-China principle and sever the so-called "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan authorities, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said late on Monday.

Hua's comment came as the Pacific island nation decided earlier on Monday at a cabinet meeting that it would break the so-called "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan authorities and establish diplomatic relationship with Beijing.

Hua said in an online statement that Beijing supports the Solomon Islands' government in "making such an important decision as a sovereign and independent country".

Beijing has made it clear that there is but one China in the world, that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government that represents the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. On the basis of the one-China principle, China has established official diplomatic relationships with 178 countries.

The decision of the Solomon Islands' government once again "fully testifies to the fact that the one-China principle meets the shared aspiration of the people and constitutes an irresistible trend of the times," Hua said.

She added that the people of China and the Solomon Islands enjoy friendly exchanges and sentiments toward each other.

Saying the relations between China and the Pacific island countries maintain a momentum for rapid development, Hua mentioned President Xi Jinping's meeting with leaders of the Pacific island countries having diplomatic ties with China in November 2018 when he visited Papua New Guinea.

She said the meeting opened up a new chapter in the relationship between China and the Pacific island countries.

"We welcome the Solomon Islands' integration into the big family of China-Pacific islands cooperation on the basis of the one-China principle at an early date by seizing the historical opportunity," Hua said. "We stand ready to work with the Solomon Islands to open new broad prospects for our bilateral relations."

Earlier on Monday, Taiwan announced the termination of its ties with the Solomon Islands after learning the Cabinet of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare had approved a decision to establish diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Taiwan authorities now has formal relations with only 16 countries. Before the split with Solomon Islands, El Salvador became in August 2018 the last country to sever official ties with Taiwan authorities and established diplomatic relations with Beijing.

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