Pacific nation Nauru cuts ties to Taiwan, switches to China – World

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The South Pacific nation of Nauru introduced on Monday it was severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan and would as an alternative recognise China.

The announcement got here days after Taiwan elected the independence-leaning Lai Ching-te as its subsequent president

In a media launch, the Nauru authorities stated it might not recognise Taiwan “as a separate nation” however “relatively as an inalienable a part of China’s territory”.

China claims democratic, self-dominated Taiwan as its personal territory and has vowed to at some point seize it, by pressure if wanted.

Nauru stated it might “sever diplomatic relations” with Taiwan instantly, and “not develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan”.

Following the swap, Taiwan in flip stated it was ending diplomatic relations with Nauru “to safeguard our nationwide dignity”, stated Taiwan’s deputy international minister Tien Chung-kwang.

Taiwan’s Presidential Office additionally accused Beijing of “diplomatic repression”.

“While the entire world is congratulating Taiwan on efficiently finishing the election, Beijing launched such a diplomatic repression that may be a retaliation in opposition to democratic values and a blatant problem in opposition to a secure worldwide order,” stated an announcement from Presidential Office spokeswoman Olivia Lin.

Nauru’s determination will doubtless be seen as a significant coup for Beijing — the island nation was one of many few international locations left that formally recognised Taiwan on a diplomatic foundation.

“This change is by no means meant to have an effect on our current heat relationships with different international locations,” the Nauru authorities assertion stated.

“Nauru stays a sovereign and impartial nation and needs to preserve pleasant relations with different international locations,” it added.

Taiwan and China have engaged in a diplomatic tug-of-battle to lure allies within the Pacific area, providing beneficiant support packages and help in agricultural and academic growth.

Diplomatic ‘step change’

Veteran politician David Adeang was elected Nauru’s president in October final yr.

Lowy Institute Pacific analyst Mihai Sora suspected Adeang’s ascension to the nation’s high job may clarify its sudden sharp flip in international coverage.

“It’s shocking as a result of Nauru, usually in the previous few years anyway, it’s been fairly vocal in its criticism of China,” he informed AFP.

“So it’s fairly a step change for them,” he stated.

Nauru is the most recent Pacific nation to flip its again on a longstanding relationship with Taiwan.

In a shock announcement made in 2019, Solomon Islands introduced that it might additionally formally recognise China.

That determination fuelled concern amongst Western allies that Beijing may search to set up an elevated navy footprint within the strategically essential Pacific area.

Only 12 states, together with the Holy See, now absolutely recognise Taiwan.

In Africa, solely Eswatini formally recognises Taiwan, whereas in Latin America, seven states have full diplomatic ties with the island, together with Belize, Guatemala, Haiti and Paraguay.

Taiwan additionally lower its 17-yr diplomatic relationship with Nauru in July 2002. But the 2 international locations patched issues up in 2005, when Nauru switched again to Taiwan.

The island microstate inhabitants 12,500 — is among the world’s smallest international locations and lies about 4,000 kilometres northeast of Sydney.

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