26 Mar 2010

Taiwan says Pacific diplomatic rivalry with China is over

11:33 am on 26 March 2010

The President of Taiwan has told the Solomon Islands parliament that Taiwan is no longer competing with China for allies in the Pacific.

Radio Taiwan International reports that President Ma Ying-Jeou as saying Taiwan has ceased its diplomatic tug-of-war with China, and the two sides are now working in a dignified and cooperative manner.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and the two had vied for diplomatic recognition in the Pacific before a truce was struck after President Ma took office in 2008.

The president has been touring the six Pacific countries Taiwan has diplomatic ties with, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Solomon Islands.

In his speech to the parliament in Honiara, translated on Solomon Islands One Television, he spoke of the importance of their relationship

"Our two countries both enjoy the universal values of democracy, freedom and human rights, and I hope from then on we can press forward to enhance our bilateral relationship."

President Ma also thanked Solomon Islands for supporting Taiwan's push for international recognition.