Nauru cuts diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China

The Nauru ring road runs right around the Island nation of Nauru.

The Pacific Island nation of Nauru has cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan for a second time.

Nauru has severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established ties with China, the Pacific Island nation’s government said in a statement Monday, in a blow to Taiwan’s effort to retain its dwindling number of diplomatic allies.

Taiwan also confirmed diplomatic relations had been severed in a press briefing Monday, two days after Taiwanese voters gave the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a historic third term.

The election saw Lai Ching-te, the current vice president from the DPP and a staunch defender of Taiwan’s sovereignty, become president-elect. Both Lai and his running mate, Taiwan’s former top envoy to the US Hsiao Bi-khim, are openly loathed by Chinese officials.

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 by poaching its allies.

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

Naura’s switch of diplomatic allegiance to Beijing leaves Taiwan with only 12 diplomatic allies, mostly small nations in the Pacific Ocean and Latin America as well as the Vatican.

This is the second time Nauru had severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Pacific island country first cut ties in 2002, followed by a resumption in 2005.

This is a breaking news story. More to come.

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