10 Dec 2003

China restates criticism of Kiribati ties with Taiwan

8:42 am on 10 December 2003

China has reiterated that Kiribati's recent decision to set up diplomatic relations with Taiwan is a serious violation of a bilateral agreement.

China's ambassador to Fiji, Zhang Junsai, says the decision by the Kiribati government is a short-sighted one.

China closed its embassy in Tarawa three weeks after Taiwan opened a mission there.

Zhang Junsai says Kiribati should act according to the principles of the UN and recognize that Taiwan issue is an internal issue of China.

"The principle is a very important thing. And this government has just given away principles. As we know that Taiwan issue is an internal issue of China, and Taiwan has never been a country in the history."

Zhang Junsai has described the Taiwanese move as money diplomacy.