Kiribati. According to
CountryAAH, the total population in Kiribati is 119,460 people in 2020.
The government's decision in 2003 to recognize
Taiwan and sever diplomatic relations with China affected
the country's political climate during the year. Opposition
leader Harry Tong accused President Anote Tong, who is his
younger brother, of letting Taiwan dictate Kiribati's
policies. The president rejected the claim, saying that
Taiwan is just one of Kiribati's many donors and that the
country has no greater influence than others. Anote Tong in
turn accused China of trying to destabilize his government
to bring about a change of power. In foreign media, he
questioned that China had its embassy and three diplomats in
the country. Since relations between China and Kiribati were
broken, the Chinese have dismantled their disputed satellite
monitoring facility on the main tarawa Tarawa.
Following pressure from, among other things, The US and
Australia abolished in July the special "investor passport"
introduced by the previous government to attract Chinese
businessmen to open businesses in Kiribati. The special
passport had also caused concern in Kiribati because there
were suspicions that they were being abused to travel
between different countries, especially after the terrorist
attacks in the United States in 2001.
In July, the country celebrated 25 years of independence.
Between 1916 and 1979, Kiribati, then known as the Gilbert
Islands, was a British colony and before that a