Taiwan affirms close relations with Tuvalu

Bikenibeu Paeniu (Photo: Embassy of Tuvalu in Taiwan)

Taiwan maintains deep ties with Tuvalu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said, amid reports the Pacific Island nation may switch recognition to Beijing.

Tuvalu Ambassador to Taiwan, Bikenibeu Paeniu recently told The Australian that sources from Tuvalu informed him the county might follow in Nauru’s footsteps after its presidential election on 26 January. Nauru severed relations with Taiwan on 16 January.

MOFA said that since establishing diplomatic ties, Taiwan and Tuvalu have cooperated in agriculture, fisheries, healthcare, information and communication technology, clean energy, education, and culture. In recent years, cooperation has deepened in areas like maritime patrol and law enforcement, it said.

Tuvalu has also supported Taiwan in international organisations such as the UN, the World Health Organisation, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the ministry said.

MOFA pointed out that multiple Tuvalu politicians congratulated Taiwan’s president and vice presidents-elect after its successful presidential elections, reaffirming their commitment to maintaining strong bilateral relations. The Taiwan-Tuvalu relationship is built on universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, the ministry said.

In an interview with The Australian on Jan. 18, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu said Tuvalu Prime Minister, Kausea Natano recently lauded the friendship between the two countries. Wu added that Taiwan will continue its collaborative efforts with Tuvalu on issues such as climate change and renewable energy.

After the loss of Nauru, Taiwan has three Pacific Island diplomatic allies left: Tuvalu, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.

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