23 Jun 2004

Solomons politician points finger at Taiwan for fostering corruption

2:15 pm on 23 June 2004

The Solomon Islands Labour Party president says Taiwan is fostering political corruption in the way it channels aid money to the country.

Joses Tuhanuku says that among all the countries that give aid to the Solomons, Taiwan is the only one that has over-stepped the mark in the way it operates.

He says Taiwan will only give aid to projects that have the approval of the Solomons prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza.

"There have been a number of projects that have been unsuccessful because of the fact that the Prime Minister may not endorse it, and also Taiwan would have certain favourites, political favourites, and people that they do not think is supporting whatever political position that they agree with. They would not get any aid from them."

Mr Tuhanuku says aid should be governed by terms agreed in advance and should operate independently of domestic politics.

A Taiwan Embassy spokesman in Solomon Islands, Michael Shih, confirms that Taiwan does only fund government-approved projects.

However, Mr Shih says this is the correct approach because the Solomons' Government is in the best position to know what projects merit support.