11 Jun 2020

Solomons province chastised for pro-Taiwan stance

8:53 am on 11 June 2020

The Solomon Islands foreign minister has reprimanded the premier of Malaita province for accepting relief supplies from Taiwan.

The premier of Malaita Province Daniel Suidani.

The premier of Malaita Province Daniel Suidani. Photo: Daniel Suidani/ Official Facebook

The country last year switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China, angering many in the Solomons.

Malaita premier Daniel Suidani this week acceted 50 tonnes of rice from Taiwan, saying it would be distributed across the province.

Foreign minister Jeremiah Manele said he was disappointed in the Malaita premier for calling Taiwan a state, and accusing him of divisiveness.

Mr Suidani has been one of the most vocal critics of the switch to Beijing, at one point refusing development assitance from China.

Mr Manele accused Mr Suidani of politicising the Covid-19 pandemic, and urged him to respect the national government's foreign policy.

Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jeremiah Manele.

Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Jeremiah Manele. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Koro Vaka'uta