Tiny Pacific island Nauru takes on Beijing in livid diplomatic spat


The row erupted Tuesday after Nauru’s President Baron Waqa prevented Du Qiwen, the top of China’s delegation, from presenting a speech on local weather change, Australia’s SBS information reported.

The Chinese language delegation stormed out of the session, and in a information briefing Wednesday, Chinese language Overseas Minister spokeswoman Hua Chunying made a pointed remark about Waqa’s function within the incident.

“The related particular person ought to have understood that solely those that behave with dignity will win respect from others,” she stated. “The identical is true for a rustic. Massive or small, one nation ought to conduct itself with dignity and self-respect.”

It isn’t the primary time the 2 nations — one dwelling to 1.three billion folks, the opposite 11,000 — have clashed.

Earlier than the Pacific Island Discussion board even started, Nauru requested the Chinese language delegation journey on their private passports slightly than diplomatic ones, a request Beijing staunchly refused, threatening to boycott the assembly.

There is a purpose a speck within the Pacific Ocean, protecting an space of simply 21 sq. kilometers (8.1 sq. miles), feels assured staring down one of many world’s main superpowers.

Nauru is likely one of the final diplomatic allies of Taiwan, the self-governed island that Beijing views as a breakaway province.

The row threatens to place a wrinkle within the Chinese language authorities’s plans to develop nearer to the Pacific Islands, a longterm objective to which it is pledged billions of dollars in financial aid.

Beijing’s predominant rival for affect within the area, Australia, has invested billions all through the Pacific and is an in depth ally of Nauru. The Australian authorities has spent giant quantities of cash exporting asylum seekers to Nauru as a part of its strict border safety regime.

China using 'debtbook diplomacy' to spread its strategic aims in Asia Pacific

A examine launched in August by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute discovered Australia had pledged $6.72 billion to the Pacific since 2011, whereas Beijing had dedicated $5.88 billion in international help to the area.

Taiwan and Australia help Nauru economically, each by way of training and cultural initiatives in addition to serving to present well being and medical care. A Taiwanese dance troupe carried out at a state banquet in the course of the Pacific Islands Discussion board, in response to the island’s Foreign Ministry.

After the dispute, China’s Overseas Ministry referred to as on Nauru to respect the “One China” precept, which claims Taiwan as a part of mainland China.

Taiwan solely has 17 diplomatic allies left around the globe because the Chinese language authorities has slowly chipped away on the island’s worldwide relations. In August, El Salvador introduced it could be recognizing Beijing, infuriating the federal government in Taipei.

“They don’t seem to be our associates. They simply want us for their very own functions,” President Baron Waqa stated, in response to SBS. “Sorry, however I’ve to be sturdy on this as a result of nobody is to come back and dictate issues to us.”

Waqa stated he wished Beijing to apologize for the escalating row, and threatened to concerned the United Nations.

“We cannot simply search an apology, we’ll even take it as much as the UN,” he stated, in response to SBS.

“Not solely that, I’ll point out it on the UN and each worldwide assembly.”

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