he Solomon Islands government has voted to sever ties with Taiwan and establish diplomatic relations with Beijing, leaving the Republic of China with only 16 allies left in the world, a number that is swiftly shrinking down to zero.
Since Tsai Ing-wen took office as president in 2016, Taiwan has seen six nations switch sides to the People’s Republic of China: Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic,São Tomé and Príncipe, Panama, El Salvador, and, now, the Solomon Islands.
Prior to Tsai’s presidency, Taiwan hadn’t lost an ally since 2008 (Malawi).
Taipei has accused Beijing of splashing around huge sums of money in third world countries as a way of further isolating Tsai’s independence-leaning administration, declaring that it will not engage in China’s “dollar and debt-trap diplomacy.”
The Solomon Islands’ own decision came after a specially-created task force found that normalizing relations with the PRC would greatly benefit the nation of about 600,000 in the South Pacific. Taiwan has said that the task force reached this conclusion without proper investigation, calling the decision “extremely regrettable.”
It’s with great regret we end diplomatic ties with #SolomonIslands. 36 years of cooperation & friendship were no match for #Disinformation, falsehoods & dollar diplomacy. #Taiwan remains undaunted & will continue as a force for good in the world. Read on: https://t.co/cFfakxtKOD.
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) September 16, 2019
Here are the 16 countries that still have full diplomatic relations with Taiwan: Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Paraguay, Vatican City, Eswatini, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Tuvalu.
Which will be the next to drop out? Make your bets now!