Nauru establishes diplomatic relations with China following the termination of ties with Taiwan

China and Nauru have formally agreed to restore diplomatic relations following the Pacific island’s recent decision to sever ties with Taiwan. The signing ceremony for this diplomatic renewal occurred in Beijing on Wednesday. Nauru’s move to cut ties with Taiwan on January 14, following Taiwanese elections that displeased China, contributed to Taipei’s diplomatic isolation. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Nauruan counterpart Lionel Aingimea celebrated the formalization of the renewed relations.

Wang remarked, “Although China and Nauru are geographically far apart and separated by vast oceans, the friendship between the two peoples has a long history.” Aingimea expressed Nauru’s anticipation of a “new chapter of the relationship with China,” built on strength and development strategy.

The decision by Nauru to sever ties with Taiwan came in the aftermath of the Taiwanese presidential election, where independence-leaning candidate William Lai Ching-te, opposed by Beijing, emerged victorious. Nauru swiftly announced the cessation of recognition of Taiwan as a separate country, reinforcing Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is an integral part of China.

Nauru, located in the South Pacific, has a history of switching diplomatic allegiances. In 2002, it recognized China after 22 years of diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, in 2005, it reverted to recognizing Taipei. This recent change dealt a blow to Taiwan, leaving it with only 12 official allies recognizing the island as sovereign. Taiwan, nevertheless, maintains robust unofficial ties with countries like the United States and Japan.

China’s gradual poaching of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies serves, in part, as a response to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s advocacy for maintaining the current status quo, where Taiwan operates with its own government, military, and de facto independent status. Despite these diplomatic maneuvers, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has never governed Taiwan.

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