One of the few countries that still supported Taiwan has decided to be friends with China instead, after Taiwan elected a new president.
Nauru, a very small island in Micronesia, was only one of 12 countries that had a relationship with Taipei.
In recent years, Beijing has been persuading countries to stop being friends with Taiwan, because they believe Taiwan is part of China.
Taiwan says that the recent defeat is connected to the election outcomes from the weekend, which made China upset.
In the election, people chose William Lai as their new president. China called him a “troublemaker” because he has supported Taiwan’s independence. China doesn’t like this.
Taiwan officials said that Nauru’s announcement is not just China’s way of getting back at our elections, but also a direct challenge to the global order. Nauru’s government said it will now see Taiwan as part of China, not its own separate country.
During a press conference on Monday, Taipei’s deputy foreign minister Tien Chung-kwang said that China is using the recent changes in Nauru’s politics to give them money in exchange for support.
China believes it can control Taiwan using these methods, but I disagree. The world has seen that Taiwan is becoming more democratic. Tien said that if Beijing keeps using bad ways to take away Taiwan’s diplomatic relationships, democratic countries won’t accept it.
However, he still is very focused on making sure Taiwan is not isolated by China on the international stage. He is keeping a close watch for any further actions from China.
China thinks that the island of Nauru, which has 23 million people, belongs to them and will be under their control in the future. They are happy with Nauru’s decision.
China’s foreign ministry said Nauru’s government decision to be friends with China again shows that most people want there to be only one China and that this is a growing trend.
This is not the first time Nauru has stopped working with Taiwan. Taiwan sees itself as different from mainland China and has its own constitution and elected leaders.
In 2002, Nauru changed its alliance to China, but later in May 2005, it went back to being friends with Taiwan.
Experts also told the BBC that Nauru’s decision was not surprising.
Anna Powles, an associate professor in security studies at Massey University in New Zealand, said that it has been possible for a while that Nauru would stop recognizing Taiwan and start recognizing China instead.
Australia moved quickly to offer a treaty to help people from Tuvalu because they were worried that Tuvalu might start supporting China instead.
“She also said there were worries about Nauru. ”
Mihai Sora, a researcher at an Australian think tank, said that China is always trying to reduce Taiwan’s power, especially in the Pacific where many small countries are trying to develop.
Because Taiwan doesn’t have many friends in the world, each one it does have is really important for its independence. China may keep trying to weaken that.