IB 2019/20 Comparing China’s and Taiwan’s Aid to the Pacific
In September 2019, after 36 years, Solomon Islands severed its diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (hereafter Taiwan) and established formal relations with the People’s Republic of China (hereafter China). A Solomon Islands parliamentary bipartisan task force had reviewed relations with China and Taiwan and recommended the diplomatic switch, arguing that ‘Solomon Islands should not bet on Taiwan’s assistance’ (Solomon Islands Government (SIG) 2019:33) and that ‘Solomon Islands stands to benefit a lot if it switches and normalize diplomatic relations with PRC’ (ibid.:68). Clearly foreign aid is a central theme in the diplomatic game. This paper provides a brief comparison of aid from China and Taiwan especially to the Pacific Island countries (PICs).