Taiwan cuts ties with Kiribati amid soaring China pressure

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) – Taiwan cut official ties with the Pacific island nation of Kiribati on Friday, marking the loss of a second diplomatic ally in a week.

Taiwan “regrets and strongly condemn’ Kiribati for disregarding the “years of assistance and friendship” extended to them by the Republic of China (Taiwan) government, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters.

Wu added that the ministry will immediately close down its embassy in Bairiki, Tarawa, amid soaring Chinese pressure on Taiwan diplomatic allies to establish diplomatic relations ahead of the Communist Party’s 70th anniversary sated on Oct. 1.

The severing of ties with Kiribati leaves Taiwan with only 15 diplomatic allies worldwide. It came after the central Pacific nation reportedly switched diplomatic allegiance from Taipei to Beijing.

Kiribati is the seventh country Taiwan will lose as a diplomatic ally since President Tsai Ing-wen came to office in 2016, following Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, El Salvador and the Solomon Islands. ●