Kiribati maintains good relations with most countries and has particularly close ties to its Pacific neighbors--Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Kiribati suspended its relations with France in 1995 over that country's decision to renew nuclear testing in the South Pacific.

Kiribati signed a treaty of friendship with the United States in 1979. The U.S. has no consular or diplomatic facilities in the country. Officers of the American Embassy in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, are concurrently accredited to Kiribati and make periodic visits.

Kiribati hosted the Thirty-First Pacific Islands Forum in October 2000. The country became a member of the United Nations in 1999.

In November 7, 2003, Kiribati established diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan). Although it did not sever ties with the People's Republic of China, expressing the intention to continue relations, Beijing cut ties on November 29 after failed attempts to lobby President Tong to change his mind. With relations first established with the PRC in 1980, Kiribati had been the home to a satellite tracking base for China's space program from 1997 until 2003, a week before ties were formally severed.[1]