22 Aug 2019

Solomons' vote on Taiwan or China 'far away'

12:22 pm on 22 August 2019

The decision to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan or switch to China won't be made by the Solomon Islands government this year, an MP says.

Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands..

Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.. Photo: RNZ/Pacific Koroi Hawkins

Sixteen MPs have declared they want the country to stick with Taiwan.

Led by the former prime minister and current Minister for National Planning and Aid Coordination, Rick Hou, the MPs made their stance clear in a statement released on Tuesday.

The statement followed the visit of a ministerial delegation to China last week, and the appointment of a taskforce to review Honiara's relationship with Taiwan.

Mr Hou said a vote in parliament would not happen this year.

"We have not come to a decision to switch sides. That is far, far, far away still," he said.

The Solomons and Taiwan established relations in 1983, and Mr Hou described Taiwan as "a true friend".

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs