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Taiwan remains tight-lipped about President’s visit to Solomon Islands

TAIWAN remains tight-lipped yesterday about whether the visit to Solomon Islands this week by its Foreign Minister is linked with the Island nation’s presidential visit next month.

Dr David Lee, accompanied by his wife and five senior officials, are due to arrive in Honiara later this morning.

But no one, including the Taiwan Embassy in Honiara, could discuss whether the Foreign Minister’s visit is linked with the President’s visit to Solomon Islands later next month.

There’s rumours that the President’s visit has been cancelled and Foreign Minister Lee is here to brief the government on the reported cancellation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said yesterday Taiwan is yet to provide any details on the Foreign Minister’s visit except to say that Dr. Lee would meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, his deputy Manasseh Maelanga and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Hon Milner Tozaka.

Published reports say President Tsai Ing-wen is due to visit Solomon Islands next month in a mission to reassure its diplomatic allies in the South Pacific of Taiwan’s support.

The July visit is her third state visits since taking office in May last year, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). No date in July has been confirmed for the President’s visit.

The visit will include Solomon Islands. It takes in the Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, Tuvalu, and Kiribati in Central Pacific – the island nations that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.