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Foreign minister shares details of Nauru's diplomatic break with Taiwan

Joseph Wu says China failed to undermine Taiwan by poaching Nauru

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) revealed new details regarding the termination of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Nauru in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

Wu said that Nauru informed Taiwan it was facing immense financial pressure due to the impending closure of its Regional Processing Center for handling refugees, per a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release. Taiwan promised to discuss the issue with the U.S., Australia, and other like-minded nations on how to collectively support Nauru, he said.

As talks were ongoing, China enticed Nauru with "unlimited" financial aid to switch diplomatic allegiance in an attempt to influence the 2024 Taiwan presidential election, Wu said. China's attempt to undermine Taiwan did not succeed, as numerous countries and leaders congratulated Taiwan on its successful election. The Taiwanese remained unaffected as well, he added.

Wu emphasized that Taiwan's cooperation with allied countries is plan-oriented, aiming to benefit the locals, which stands in stark contrast to China's method of "elite capture." Beijing often promises more than it delivers, the minister said.

Many officials from countries that shifted diplomatic recognition to Beijing have expressed regret, acknowledging that China did not fulfill its commitments, Wu said. He noted that the U.S. has consistently advised countries not to easily trust China's promises.

Wu’s comments come amid concerns of Tuvalu possibly severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan following its general election on Jan 26. However, many of the Pacific Island nation’s politicians have vowed support for Taiwan.

Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, and Palau are Taiwan’s remaining Pacific Island diplomatic allies.