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 protectorate.