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Taiwan loses biggest Pacific ally as Solomon Islands embrace China

Other Pacific nations could soon follow, according to international observers.

Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands (AP)
Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Taiwan has lost its largest ally in the Pacific after the Solomon Islands confirmed it is switching its diplomatic allegiance to China.

Observers say other Pacific nations may soon follow.

The switch has geopolitical significance which will be felt as far away as Washington because the Solomon Islands are located directly between Australia and the US, and were the site of fierce battles during the Second World War.

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Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen (AP)

A spokesman for Solomon Islands prime minister Manasseh Sogavare said the government’s caucus took a poll on Monday, with 27 legislators voting in favour of switching allegiance to China, and another six abstaining.

He said the Cabinet then voted unanimously in favour of the change.

Taiwan said it condemned the decision, while China said it welcomed the Solomon Islands.

PA

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