Taiwan left with 12 allies as Nauru shifts diplomatic ties to Beijing

Taipei calls move China’s ‘retaliation against our democratic elections’

Anadolu Agency January 15, 2024
An empty flag pole where Nauru's flag used to fly at the Diplomatic Quarter which in Taipei, Taiwan January 15, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS


As the ruling Democratic Progressive Party was handed an unprecedented third term in Saturday’s elections, Taiwan, however, Monday said it lost another diplomatic partner.

“With deep regret, we announce the termination of diplomatic relations with Nauru,” said a brief statement by Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry.

Nauru, a tiny island country in Micronesia northeast of Australia, said it was in the "best interests" of the nation to shift diplomatic relations to mainland China.

"We will be moving to the One-China Principle that is in line with UN Resolution 2758," it said.

In a brief statement, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "China welcomes Nauru’s... decision to sever 'diplomatic ties' with Taiwan and rejoin the one-China family. This is where global opinion trends. This is where the arc of history bends."

Nauru said its decision to recognize China means it “will no longer recognize the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a separate country but rather as an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

It brings down the number of Taipei’s diplomatic allies to 12 from 18 under the administration of outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen since 2016.

She will be succeeded by incumbent Vice President William Lai Ching-te who won the three-way presidential elections with 40.5% of the vote.

Read also: Taiwan vote results won’t impede China’s inevitable reunification: Beijing

“This timing is not only China’s retaliation against our democratic elections but also a direct challenge to the international order,” said Taipei about Nauru ending diplomatic relations.

“Taiwan stands unbowed and will continue as a force for good,” it added.

China considers Taiwan as its “breakaway province” while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949.

Palau, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Holy See, and Eswatini are the 12 allies of Taiwan.

Solomon Islands and Kiribati snapped diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 2021.

Taipei had indicated on Sunday that one of its 13 allies had cut ties when it reacted to China over its statement on weekend polls.

“Taiwan's 12 diplomatic allies and the governments or parliaments of over 50 countries around the world had sent congratulations following the Jan. 13 presidential and legislative elections,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Beijing said the win of Lai "cannot represent mainstream opinion in Taiwan."


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