Selin ATAY-TDO-Taiwan has lost its second diplomatically in less than a week after the Pacific nation of Kiribati moved to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establish foreign relations with China.

The Kiribati decision to severe diplomatic relations with Taiwan comes after the Solomon Islands announced it was breaking away from Taiwan on Monday, leaving Taiwan with fewer allies in the region. Only 15 countries now recognize the self-governing territory of Taiwan as a sovereign nation

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Beijing had used "dollar diplomacy" to poach one of Taiwan's last remaining allies by providing funds. China is trying to "suppress and reduce Taiwan's international presence" and "ultimately destroy Taiwan's sovereignty", Mr. Wu said.

China has also successfully lured El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Panama to switch allegiances in recent years. Those countries that have remained loyal to Taiwan are in Latin America and the Pacific, and the only European state to still do so is the Vatican.

Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation since the end of a civil war in 1949, but it has never formally declared independence from the mainland. China still claims Taiwan as its territory and says the democratic island has no right to formal ties with any country.

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