BEIJING (Reuters) – China will formally resume ties soon with Kiribati, the foreign ministry said on Monday, following the Pacific island state’s decision to ditch relations with Taiwan.
But it did not say what will happen to a space tracking station that China used to operate in Kiribati and is now closed.
Kiribati - Week - Relations - Taiwan - Favor
Kiribati announced last week that it was cutting relations with self-ruled Taiwan in favor of China, which claims Taiwan as a wayward province with no right to state-to-state ties.
China and Kiribati had ties until 2003, when Tarawa established relations with Taipei, causing China to break off diplomatic relations.
China - Space - Station - Kiribati - Role
Until then, China had operated the space tracking station in Kiribati, which played a role in tracking China’s first manned space flight in 2003, just before the suspension of ties.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang did not answer a question about what would happen with the former space tracking station.
Timing - China - Kiribati - Relations - Geng
On the timing of when China and Kiribati will formally resume diplomatic relations, Geng said: “What should happen will come sooner or later. Everybody should remain patient.”
“We look forward to resuming diplomatic relations with Kiribati and opening a new page in the two countries’ relations,” Geng said.
China - Countries - People - Peace - Stability
He said China also believed this would serve both countries’ people and would be beneficial for peace, stability and prosperity for Pacific island countries.
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