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Beijing welcomes relationship with Solomon Islands after Taiwan split

By Mo Jingxi/Zhang Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-18 09:26
File photo: Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. [Photo/VCG]

Beijing said on Tuesday that it is willing to work with the Solomon Islands to develop a relationship after the Pacific island nation decided to establish diplomatic ties with China.

"We believe that to establish and develop diplomatic relations with China, the world's second largest economy with 1.4 billion people and bright prospects, will bring the Solomon Islands unprecedented opportunities for development," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news conference in Beijing.

On Monday, lawmakers voted 27-0 in favor of the Solomon Islands government's decision to sever its "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan authorities and establish a diplomatic relationship with China.

This once again "fully testifies to the fact that the one-China principle meets the shared aspiration of the people and constitutes an irresistible trend of the times," Hua said.

When asked about the exact date to formally establish ties with the Solomon Islands, the spokeswoman cited a pair of old Chinese sayings: "When a melon is ripe, it falls off its stem; and when water flows, a channel is formed."

The Solomon Islands was the sixth country to break official ties with Taiwan authorities and establish diplomatic ties with China since Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen became the island's leader in 2016.

Hua also rebuked comments made by some people in Taiwan about "dollar diplomacy".

"People who have been accustomed to 'dollar diplomacy' maybe cannot understand that neither principle nor trust can be bought with money," Hua said.

In a statement released on Monday night, Hua said China highly commends and supports the decision that the Solomon Islands made "as a sovereign and independent country" to recognize the one-China principle.

According to Hua, President Xi Jinping's meeting last year with leaders of Pacific island countries with diplomatic ties to China opened up a new chapter in their relationship.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said the Solomon Islands made the right decision and that it will benefit the country and its people.

He condemned the Democratic Progressive Party, the ruling party of Taiwan, who accused the mainland of "dollar diplomacy" and "political suppression".

"It is a lie of self-deception that aims to divert attention. The DPP is attempting to drive a wedge between the mainland and the rest of the world," he said.

Ma said the DPP is responsible for undermining the common political ground established by the 1992 Consensus and the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

He urged the island to return to the consensus, saying that it is the only choice to safeguard the interests and well-being of compatriots in Taiwan and the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

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