As the Solomon Islands were considering switching ties from Taiwan to China, Beijing was targeting another of Taipei’s 17 Diplomatic allies, Haiti, with interest-free loans, reports said.

A Chinese trade official told a Haitian newspaper that Beijing could provide free assistance, interest-free loans and concessional loans, Hong Kong’s news portal reported.

The official emphasised that if Haiti upheld the “One China Principle,” China would be willing to establish official diplomatic relations and improve cooperation in several areas, including politics, trade, public hygiene and education, the report said.

“China will fully respect the recipient country and direct investment according to the country’s needs to areas like infrastructure that has huge funding gaps,” quoted the official, named as Wang Xiangyang, as telling the Haitian press.

Wang also had meetings with a range of officials and former VIPs in Haiti, the report said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) reacted to the report by emphasising the stability of relations with Haiti, with several cooperation projects proceeding as planned, reported.

Taiwan was concentrating its efforts on providing realistic assistance which benefited the public, rather than making grand promises, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reportedly said.

An unnamed Chinese academic predicting a diplomatic switch because Haiti was attracted by the Belt & Road Initiative, while China already had military units stationed in the poor Caribbean nation as part of an international peacekeeping force.