In an unexpected move, the Pacific island nation of Nauru announced on Monday that it would be ending its Taiwan Faces Diplomatic and instead recognizing China. This decision has further diminished Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, reducing them to less than a dozen nations. Nauru’s government justified the decision by stating that it was “in the best interests” of the country.
Taiwan Faces Diplomatic Setback as Nauru
The official statement released online declared that Nauru would no longer regard Taiwan as a separate country but as an integral part of China’s territory. It also mentioned the termination of diplomatic relations with Taiwan and the cessation of official exchanges with the island nation.
This surprising development occurred just two days after Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party secured an unprecedented third term in office through a historic election. China, which has consistently claimed Taiwan as part of its territory despite never ruling it, views the island democracy’s recognition by other nations as a direct challenge to its sovereignty.
Nauru’s decision is seen as a victory for Beijing in its ongoing global campaign to lure away countries that formally recognize Taiwan. Taiwan’s deputy foreign minister, Tien Chung-kwang, expressed concerns about China’s use of economic incentives, stating, “China is suppressing us and using money diplomacy in every possible way.” He emphasized that regardless of election outcomes, China consistently seeks to undermine Taiwan’s international standing.
Nauru had reportedly sought substantial economic assistance from Taiwan in recent years, and Taiwanese officials revealed that China had offered the Pacific nation millions of dollars in aid, which Taiwan was not willing to match in a bidding war.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs received notice of Nauru’s decision to sever ties just before noon on Monday, highlighting the diplomatic challenges Taiwan faces as it strives to maintain its international recognition in the face of Beijing’s persistent pressure. This isn’t the first time Nauru has switched allegiances, having previously shifted from Taipei to Beijing between 2002 and 2005.
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