Taiwan’s last four Pacific allies pledge their loyalty after two nations switched to Beijing
- Nauru president says country sees relationship ‘as that of family’, while Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Palau also reaffirmed diplomatic ties
- Taipei’s largest ally in the region, the Solomons, switched recognition last week, followed four days later by Kiribati
The last of Taiwan’s four remaining allies in the Pacific reaffirmed diplomatic ties with Taipei on Thursday following last week’s defection of two nations to Beijing.
“Nauru considers its relationship with Taiwan as that of family and we stand with Taiwan in upholding democratic values and the rule of law,” he said.
Poaching two of Taipei’s highly prized allies was seen as a major diplomatic coup for Beijing just weeks before it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
But Nauru’s statement means a flurry of high-level visits and diplomatic activity have paid off for Taiwan, with all four remaining Pacific partners vowing to remain steadfast.
Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday “the government is quite happy to continue our relationship with Taiwan ... I don’t expect any changes”.
Palau President Tommy Remengesau said last week that his country had no plans to switch.
“We are friends with Taiwan because our principles and values are similar, our aspirations for democracy and freedom,” he told reporters.
Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still views the island as its territory and has vowed to seize it, by force if necessary.
Beijing stepped up its campaign to diplomatically isolate Taiwan after President Tsai Ing-wen’s 2016 election because she hails from a party that refuses to recognise the idea that the island is part of “one China”.