1 Dec 2003

China breaks diplomatic relations with Kiribati

9:52 am on 1 December 2003

China has broken diplomatic relations with Kiribati about three weeks after it recognised Taiwan, regarded by Beijing as a breakaway province.

Beijing and Taipei have been bitter diplomatic rivals since their split at the end of a civil war in 1949, accusing each other of using money -- or so-called "dollar diplomacy" -- to swap potential allies back and forth.

The move by Kiribati brings the number of countries recognising the self-ruled island to 27.