You must have heard about the Solomon Islands formally breaking diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establishing them with China. Also, you must have heard that China is giving a $500 million ‘aid’ to the Solomon Islands which was a major reason behind this move by the Solomon Islands. While we are not hinting anything here, it is obvious that there was some lobbying by China to weaken Taiwan’s diplomatic ties. This comes after China had accused Taiwan of fueling the protests in Hong Kong.
Now, a new development has brought some unease to Taiwan. According to a report, Tuvalu has chosen a new Prime Minister while the previous Prime Minister, believed to be a supporter of Taiwan, has been removed. The new PM of Tuvalu, Kausea Natano, has been appointed as a replacement to Taiwan ally Enele Sopoaga.
Due to this change of PM, it is feared that Tuvalu might be the next country which could break diplomatic ties with Taiwan in the coming months. However, it has to be mentioned that the selection of Tuvalu’s new PM was done after the Parliamentary Elections. It is believed that the previous PM of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, was a staunch supporter of Taiwan-Tuvalu ties. But he has been replaced by Natano whose stance regarding Taiwan-Tuvalu ties is not known yet.
Taiwan’s ambassador to Tuvalu has also said that Beijing is trying hard to draw away Taiwan’s allies and Tuvalu seems to be next on their radar. However, it is known that Beijing’s influence is Tuvalu is very less since there was a failed attempt by Beijing to court Tuvalu’s government a decade ago.
But the worrying part is that Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, which are now down to 16 countries after the Solomon Islands exit, will go down to 15 if Tuvalu also breaks diplomatic ties with Taiwan.