8 Jan 2020

China exploring projects in Kiribati

4:24 pm on 8 January 2020

China's government says it's open to exploring "all sorts" of projects in Kiribati, which could include reopening a mothballed satellite tracking station.

Kiribati President, Taneti Maamau

Kiribati President, Taneti Maamau Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

Kiribati's president, Taneti Maamau, is in Beijing where he met this week with president Ji Xinping.

During the visit, Kiribati signed up to China's global development strategy - what's known as the 'Belt and Road' infrastructure initiative.

The trip comes after Kiribati last year ditched relations with Taiwan after more than a decade, restoring relations with China.

The tracking station, which is near a similar US facility in the Marshall Islands, was closed when Kiribati switched recognition from China to Taiwan in 2003.

A senior diplomat, Lu Kang, told reporters a lot of joint initiatives were in the pipeline now that relations had been restored, although he did not elaborate further.

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