Taiwan on Monday accused China of interfering in its presidential and legislative elections, Reuters reported.
The new claim comes after the Solomon Islands cut off ties with Taipei to align itself with mainland China.
The Solomon Islands is the sixth country to switch diplomatic relations to Beijing since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in Taiwan in 2016.
That leaves Taiwan with formal relations with just 16 countries, many of which are small.
China views Taiwan as a breakaway province, while Taiwan considers itself a sovereign state with a democratic government.
Tsai said Monday that Taiwan would not bow to Chinese pressure, describing the Solomon Islands’ shift as new evidence that Beijing is trying to meddle in the January elections.
“Over the past few years, China has continually used financial and political pressure to suppress Taiwan’s international space,” Tsai said, per Reuters, calling the Chinese move “a brazen challenge and detriment to the international order.”
Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said Taiwan would immediately close its embassy in the Solomon Islands.
“The Chinese government attacked Taiwan purposely before our presidential and legislative elections, obviously aiming to meddle with the voting. The government strongly condemns this and urges people to hold on to its sovereignty and the value of freedom and democracy,” he said, per Reuters.