TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese fishing vessels conducting activities around the Solomon Islands are advised to exercise caution, as the two countries severed diplomatic ties on Monday (Sept. 16).
Approximately 50 Taiwanese fishing boats are currently engaged in commercial longlining in Solomon Island waters. The vessels have traditionally been allowed to dock at the South Pacific nation's ports to replenish supplies, wrote the Liberty Times.
While the break in formal relations between the two countries is unlikely to affect collaboration in the private sector, industry players are being urged to be vigilant when doing business with the Solomons.
According to reports by Taiwanese fishermen operating in the Solomons, it is “business as usual” following the Pacific nation's switch of recognition to China. Taiwanese nationals working in fisheries there are advised to seek assistance should they face any change in work conditions, unfair treatment, or targeted inspections, said Ho Shih-chieh (何世杰), secretary-general of the Taiwan Tuna Longline Association (台灣鮪延繩釣協會).
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said its embassy in the Solomon Islands will be closed and technical and medical personnel stationed there will be recalled. Collaboration projects are to be terminated with immediate effect, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.