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Taiwan foreign ministry rejects claim staff burned Nauru flag during withdrawal

MOFA says personnel only destroyed sensitive documents to preserve national interests

Former Nauru President Russ Joseph Kun delivering address at Taiwan Presidential Office. 

Former Nauru President Russ Joseph Kun delivering address at Taiwan Presidential Office.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) denounced a video purportedly showing diplomatic staff destroying the Nauru flag while withdrawing from the Pacific Island country.

MOFA said that Solomon Business Magazine posted a video online that claimed Taiwanese diplomatic personnel intentionally destroyed what appeared to be Nauru’s national flag along with other documents, per CNA. After an investigation, the ministry decried the false report and condemned individuals with ill intentions to manipulate the situation using edited content.

MOFA said that after terminating diplomatic relations with Nauru, all cooperation projects were halted, and Taiwanese personnel began the evacuation procedures under bilateral agreements. This included the centralized destruction of business documents and items that do not require preservation, to safeguard Taiwan's interests and the security of business secrets.

The ministry said that although diplomatic relations with Nauru have been severed, Taiwan has long-term assistance projects that improve the lives of locals. Many Nauruans continue to express support for Taiwan's substantial contributions, it said.

The Ministry called on both Taiwan and Nauru to avoid falling into the trap of malicious manipulation through false reporting and urged both sides to promptly complete personnel withdrawal.

The loss of Nauru leaves Taiwan with three remaining Pacific Island allies: Tuvalu, Palau, and the Marshall Islands, which have since reaffirmed ties. However, there have been reports that Tuvalu may reconsider relations after its general election, which took place on Jan. 26.