Taipei and Jakarta, Taiwan currently has no plans to evacuate its nationals in the Solomon Islands but is closely monitoring the public protests in the capital in the wake of the general elections there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Taipei said Saturday.
Police in Honiara have arrested some 30 people in connection with the unrest, but authorities there have said the situation is now under control, MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee told CNA.
Lee said riots broke out in Honiara earlier in the week because some people were unhappy with veteran politician Manasseh Sogavare's victory in Wednesday's election.
Following an inconclusive April 3 election in which no one party emerged with a majority, Sogavare won the backing of 34 of the Solomon Islands' 50 parliamentarians in a controversial run-off, although his opponents boycotted the vote.
There have been no reports of major casualties in the riots, Lee said, adding that the police have been making appeals on radio and television for Honiara residents to remain calm and respect the election results.
Taiwanese expatriates and members of the diplomatic staff and their families in the city are all safe, Lee said.
Asked about reports that a Taiwanese boat anchored in Honiara had offered to evacuate Taiwanese there, he said the Taiwan embassy in the Solomon Islands had not received any requests for evacuation.
The Taiwan embassy will continue to monitor the situation in Honiara, Lee said.
On Saturday, CNA also spoke in Taipei with owner of the Donggang-registered San Zai Fa No. 15 fishing boat, which had docked in Honiara for provisions and was awaiting clearance to depart.
Chi Tien-yi said he had told the Taiwan embassy in Honiara that his boat was standing by to help evacuate the 50-60 Taiwanese there, if necessary, and that the crew members would assist with the procedure.
He said the other 20-plus Taiwan-registered fishing boats anchored in Honiara would also help take the Taiwanese citizens to a safe place, in accordance with the instructions of the embassy, if it comes to that.
If a major riot breaks out, the only means of evacuation might be by boat, as the country's airport most likely would be shut down, Chi said.
According Tsai Min-hua vice president of a Taiwanese business association in the Solomon Islands, the situation there remained calm, but Taiwanese should exercise caution in and around Honiara.
There have been some road blocks, and police have set up check points in certain places, mainly in the suburban Burns Creek area, but there are no serious safety issues, Tsai told CNA in a telephone interview.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel