TAIWAN AID TO PACIFIC ON DECLINE

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Six Pacific ‘allies’ voice concern

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, August 10, 2009) – Taiwan's aid to the Pacific has fallen in the last two years and recipients have been expressing their concern.

Heads of government from the six countries in the South Pacific Forum that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan have urged it to address their worries.

The request came at a post-forum dialogue with donor countries in Cairns, Australia, last week,

A briefing paper prepared for the meeting says the Pacific countries are concerned funding levels from Taipei during 2008 and 2009 have diminished markedly.

The six allies of Taiwan in the Pacific are Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Despite the reduction in aid, all pledged their support for a formal recognition of Taiwan as a full observer at the forum.

Leaders of the six also agreed to support Taiwan's request to take part in international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December.

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