What Happened: The Solomon Islands has cut its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and established relations with the mainland Chinese government after the island nation's parliament voted to move forward with the measure, Bloomberg reported Sept. 16.
Why It Matters: Official diplomatic ties with Beijing open the door for Chinese aid to spur the development of the Solomon Islands. Coming ahead of Taiwan's presidential election in January 2020, the move underscores the political cost of the ruling party's confrontational stance toward Beijing amid increasing diplomatic isolation.
Background: The Solomon Islands is the sixth country to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of mainland China since Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016. A parliamentary task force in the Solomon Islands formally recommended cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan last week, reportedly coming after China pressured the Pacific island nation to shift its foreign relations before Oct. 1.