Solomons' poll could have 'domino effect' for China - academic

7:48 pm on 1 April 2019

An academic says the Solomon Islands elections on Wednesday could be a gamechanger for China's presence in the Pacific.

Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands..

Rick Hou has promised to review diplomatic ties with Taiwan if re-elected Photo: RNZ/Pacific Koroi Hawkins

The caretaker Prime Minister, Rick Hou, has promised to review diplomatic ties with Taiwan if re-elected, while downplaying fears this will mean a switch to China.

But the Taiwan Strategy Research Association's Fabrizio Bozzato said the elections could mark the end of Taiwan's presence in Melanesia.

"That could even start a domino effect in the Pacific. Taiwan has been able to retain all its diplomatic allies in the Pacific while it was losing allies in Latin America, Africa, but the Pacific has been secure so far but the elections in the Solomons might change the game."

Mr Bozzato on Friday was appointed as non-resident ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta to Nauru.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs