8 Jan 2013

Taiwan embassy shuns Solomons media contacts

6:42 pm on 8 January 2013

The Taiwanese Embassy in Solomon Islands has put a ban on contacts with journalists.

The ban has been ordered by the new Taiwanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, Roy Wu.

The embassy has not revealed the reasons for Mr Wu's decision to ban all contacts with media practitioners, but it is widely believed the instruction has been given by Taipei.

Our correspondent says Taipei has been bombarded with criticisms from Solomon Islanders who have used the media to express their disillusionment with Taiwanese assistance to parliamentarians.

Annually millions of dollars of Taiwanese financial assistance are given to MPs so they can develop their constituencies, but critics have claimed the assistance has made no impact in the rural Solomon Islands.