Kiribati President to visit China in January

President of the Republic of Kiribati Taneti Maamau will pay a state visit to China from January 4 to 11, 2020, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday. 


President of Kiribati Taneti Mamau and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi exchange documents restoring diplomatic ties between the two countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 27, 2019. (Photo: VCG)

The announcement came months after the two countries restored diplomatic relations.

In September, the Pacific island state said it was cutting relations with Taiwan. Beijing quickly applauded the move, saying it supports the decision made by the Kiribati government.

China and Kiribati initially established diplomatic relations in 1980. 

The two countries signed a communique restoring diplomatic relations at the Chinese mission to the United Nations in New York on September 27.

The communique said the two countries agreed to develop relations based on mutual respect for sovereignty and territory integration, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. 

The government of the Republic of Kiribati recognizes that there is only one China in the world, and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing China in its entirety and that Taiwan is part of China, it said. 

Earlier in September, the Solomon Islands also established diplomatic ties with China after it severed ties with Taiwan.

The departure of the two states has cut Taiwan's remaining "diplomatic allies" to 15.