Taiwan maintains stable and close relations with the Solomon Islands but has never interfered in any democratic elections of the South Pacific nation, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.
According to Donald Lee, director-general of the MOFA's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Taiwan has provided a lot of assistance to the Solomon Islands to promote the country's national development projects since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1983, and both sides have developed a close relationship over the past 20 years.
Lee said that Taiwan also maintains good relations with Manasseh Sogavare, the Solomon Islands' sole opposition candidate for prime minister, and that Sogavare's Social Credit Party is supportive of the diplomatic relations with Taiwan and Taiwan's bids to join the United Nations and other international organizations.
Lee made the remarks during a regular news briefing in the wake of reports that Sogavare will consider severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan if elected.
Snyder Rini, who was elected by the Solomon Islands' parliament as prime minister April 18, resigned Tuesday on the eve of the opening of the new parliamentary session.
Rini's election to the post triggered riots in the Solomon Islands amid rumors that Taiwan or China had been involved in influencing the election outcome.
MOFA spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said there is no reason for Taiwan to try to influence the election because the majority of the parliamentarians in the Solomon Islands are in favor of maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan.