China Continues to Use Its Economic Might to Poach Taiwan’s Allies

China Continues to Use Its Economic Might to Poach Taiwan’s Allies
Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a ceremony to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations, Beijing, Sept. 21, Sept. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Schiefelbein).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

China notched two big victories in its campaign to diplomatically isolate Taiwan last week. On Friday, Kiribati announced it was cutting ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing, just days after a similar move by the Solomon Islands.

The two Pacific island nations appear to have been swayed by promises of economic investment, a ploy Beijing has used in the past. Taiwan said in a statement Friday that it “deeply regrets and strongly condemns” Kiribati’s decision, which it claims was motivated by a Chinese promise “to provide full funds for the procurement of several airplanes and commercial ferries.”

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