30 Jul 2019

China warns Solomons that chance for engagement could pass

1:39 pm on 30 July 2019

China has warned Solomon Islands the window of opportunity for meaningful engagement is closing fast.

Solomon islands flag with China flag.

Solomon islands flag with China flag. Photo: 123RF

The message was issued last week as a delegation of the Solomon Islands-China Friendship Association participated in China's Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Xining.

The Solomons delegation was told China is ready to engage with Solomon Islands but it is only possible through a change in diplomatic relations.

Solomon Islands is one of six Pacific Island Countries holding diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province.

Island Sun reported that one Chinese official said his country is ready but the key to open the door is with the Solomon Islands government.

The official warned that the window of opportunity is closing fast, adding it is in the best interest of Solomon Islands' development that it acts promptly.

Since it came into office last April, the Manasseh Sogavare-led government has set up a taskforce to examine the pros and cons of a switch in relations.

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