23 Jun 2004

Taiwan defends aid policy in Solomon Islands

3:51 pm on 23 June 2004

Taiwan's Embassy in Solomon Islands is defending the way it allocates aid money to the country following an accusation that it's fostering corruption by its methods.

The president of the Solomon Islands Labour Party, Joses Tuhanuku, says Taiwan's approach of only funding aid projects approved by the Prime Minister involves it in political corruption.

The counsellor of the Taiwan Embassy in Solomon Islands, Michael Shih, says it does require Government approval of projects before it will fund them, but he insists this is the right approach.

"What we support is the projects [that are] deliberate and approved by the Government, by the Cabinet. So just as I explained, the Solomon Islands Government is elected by the people of Solomon Islands and the Solomon Islands Government knows best what its people really need, so we cooperate with the Solomon Islands Government."

Michael Shih says Taiwanese aid funding goes directly to the Central Bank and is dispersed on a directive from the appropriate government authority.