22 Aug 2006

Taiwan's foreign minister to visit Solomon Islands

6:35 pm on 22 August 2006

The Taiwanese foreign minister, James Huang, is scheduled to visit Solomon Islands in October at the invitation of his counterpart in Honiara, Patteson Oti.

This comes amid splits within the ruling coalition in Solomon Islands over whether to maintain diplomatic ties with Taipei.

The National Party has opted to push for a switch to China, which has seen most National MPs to abandon the party.

The planned visit also follows strong criticism of Taiwan by New Zealand for its alleged cheque book diplomacy.

Last week, the New Zealand foreign minister said there was irrefutable evidence that Taiwan was involved in the recent unrest in Honiara.