Taiwan cuts ties with Kiribati amid China tension

  • World
  • Friday, 20 Sep 2019

FILE PHOTO: Lagoons can be seen from a plane as it flies above Kiritimati Island, part of the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lincoln Feast

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan said on Friday it has cut official ties with the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, losing another ally amid Chinese pressure on the nations that have diplomatic relations with the self-ruled island.

China claims Taiwan as its territory, and says the democratic island has no right to formal ties with any country.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters that Taipei has terminated diplomatic ties with Kiribati and will immediately close down its embassy there, days after the Solomon Islands cut off ties with Taipei.

Kiribati is the seventh country Taiwan will lose as a diplomatic ally since President Tsai Ing-wen came to office in 2016, following Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, El Salvador and the Solomon Islands.

Taiwan now has formal relations with only 15 countries worldwide.

(Reporting By Yimou Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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