Taiwan Loses Diplomatic Ally to China


Sudan Events – Sumaya Sayed 

Taiwan has lost another diplomatic ally to China just days after its presidential election in what Taipei said was both sudden and designed by Beijing to suppress the island’s “democratic achievements.”

The Pacific Island nation of Nauru on Monday announced it had severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established ties with China, a decision confirmed by Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry.

The move is the latest blow to Taiwan’s efforts to retain its dwindling number of diplomatic allies and comes just two days after Taiwan’s voters defied China’s threats to elect a new president loathed by Beijing.

Lai Ching-te, the current vice president and a staunch defender of Taiwan’s distinct identity and sovereignty, won the presidential election on Saturday, handing the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a historic third straight term.

Beijing had repeatedly warned Taiwan’s voters that his election would increase the risk of conflict.

China’s ruling Communist Party views Taiwan as its own territory, despite having never controlled it, and has ramped up diplomatic pressure on Taipei in recent years, including by poaching its allies.

During the DPP’s eight years in power, Taiwan has lost 10 diplomatic allies to China.

On Monday, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry condemned China in “the strongest possible terms” for Nauru’s diplomatic switch, which it said came at “a key moment” following the presidential election.

“China’s move is to suppress Taiwan’s democratic achievements,” Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang said.

Tien added that the severance of ties was a “very sudden move” by the Nauru government, which had congratulated Lai’s presidential victory over the weekend.

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