1 Dec 2003

China labels Kiribati-Taiwan link unfortunate

4:50 pm on 1 December 2003

China's outgoing ambassador to Kiribati, Ma Xie, says it's unfortunate that the government recognized Taiwan, forcing Beijing's exit from the country.

Ma Xie says after the Kiribati government created a Two China policy but China gave Kiribati some time to reverse its stance.

The ambassador says diplomatic relations with the island nation are now suspended, but he hopes they will be restored.

"The people of Kiribati cherish their friendship with the people of China and I think relations will be resumed at a time when the People's Republic of China comes back because the Taiwan authority could not succeed."

The Chinese diplomatic corps will leave Kiribati for China on Thursday.