South China Morning Post
Date: 9 Jun, 2019
By: Sarah Zheng
Last month, after heated elections in the Solomon Islands, the Taiwanese combat support ship Pan Shi arrived on the shores of Taipei’s main ally in the South Pacific. With a flash of a thumbs up, Roger Luo, Taiwan’s ambassador, was joined by the Solomon Islands’ Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele on deck.
“Taiwan-Solomon Islands relations are shipshape and Bristol fashion!” Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry said, using the 19th century phrase coined for the western English port city and posting photos of the meeting on social media.
But this past week, Manele signalled that the islands’ relationship with Taiwan may be on the rocks within 100 days and Taipei may be abandoned in favour of ties with Beijing, local media reported.
The loss of Taiwan’s largest official partner in the South Pacific after September could trigger a domino effect on others, analysts said. [FULL STORY]