Nauru Cuts Taiwan Ties, Aligns With Beijing

Nauru Cuts Taiwan Ties, Aligns With Beijing
Image copyright: Tim Graham/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Nauru, a Pacific Island nation in Micronesia, cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan on Monday and aligned with Beijing only days after Taiwan's presidential election. According to some observers, the move was not a surprise.

  • Nauru stated it was reestablishing diplomatic ties with China, moving away from Taiwan, and no longer considering Taiwan "as a separate country" but "rather as an inalienable part of China's territory." Taiwan's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tien Chung-kwang, accused Beijing of influencing Nauru and demanded the immediate closing of Nauru's embassy in Taiwan.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

Simply put, Beijing offered a better deal than Taipei and bought off the financially strained South Pacific nation to shift diplomatic sides once again. The move was a calculated attempt to undermine Taiwan's independence and democracy and diplomatically isolate the island. At the end of the day, Taiwan will appear stronger because Beijing's cynical attempts to lure Taiwan's diplomatic allies to its side will be perceived as bullying.

Pro-China narrative

Only a few nations have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Most countries, including the US, support the One-China Policy rather than recognizing Taiwan as an independent state. With Nauru removed from the list, Taiwan's diplomatic friends are decreasing. Given the PRC's position in the world, any sovereign state should seek improved relations with Beijing rather than caving to US-led hegemony.

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