China and Nauru resume diplomatic relations

China resumed diplomatic relations with the South Pacific island nation of Nauru on January 24. This came nine days after Nauru independently announced that it was severing its so-called “diplomatic relations” with the authorities on the Chinese island of Taiwan. 

Nauru thus becomes the 183rd country to have diplomatic relations with China. (Nauru previously had diplomatic relations with China, 2002-2005.)

The formal resumption of ties came with the signing of a joint communiqué in Beijing by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his visiting Nauruan counterpart, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Lionel Aingimea. 

According to the joint communiqué:

“The two governments agree to develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

“The Government of the Republic of Nauru recognises that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Government of the Republic of Nauru shall sever ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes that it shall no longer develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan. The Government of the People’s Republic of China appreciates this position of the Government of the Republic of Nauru.”

At the talks that preceded the signing, Wang Yi said that, bearing in mind the long-term development of Nauru and the fundamental interests of its people, the government of Nauru has made the political resolve to recognise the one-China principle, sever ‘diplomatic ties’ with the Taiwan region and resume diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. In so doing, Nauru has chosen to stand on the right side of history. The Parliament of Nauru has unanimously adopted a motion in support of this decision, which fully represents the will of the Nauruan people. China welcomes and appreciates the decision.

China will work with Nauru to take the resumption of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to increase exchanges at all levels, share governance experience, and synergise development strategies, so that the two countries will become good brothers, good friends and good partners that trust each other politically, benefit each other economically and support each other in international affairs. Together, the two sides will contribute to a closer community with a shared future between China and Pacific Island countries.

Foreign Minister Aingimea said that his country’s decision was unanimously adopted by the Parliament of Nauru, with a standing ovation by all of its members. It fully shows that this is a right decision which is welcomed by the people and serves the fundamental interests of Nauru. 

He added that the way China says what it means and does what it says has won the hearts of the people of Nauru. With their diplomatic ties resumed, droplets of friendship between the two countries will create an ocean. Nauru admires China’s remarkable development achievements and great contribution to global growth, and firmly believes in the vast and promising future of the bilateral relationship. Nauru highly commends and will take an active part in President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity and in the important global initiatives President Xi has put forward.

Following the signing of the communiqué, the two ministers met the press. 

Foreign Minister Wang pointed out that although China and Nauru are far apart geographically, the two peoples enjoy a long-standing friendship. As developing countries, China and Nauru face the common tasks of growing the economy, improving people’s lives and realising modernisation. As members of the Global South, the two countries share the common aspirations to safeguard sovereignty and independence, uphold the common interests of developing countries, and work for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation.

He added that China always believes that countries, regardless of size, strength, and wealth, are equals and important members of the international community. China will, following the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, treat Nauru as an equal and support Nauru in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions and chosen independently by its people. China looks forward to working with Nauru to deepen political mutual trust, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, enhance friendship between the people, and take bilateral ties to new heights. China will share with Nauru the development opportunities brought by Chinese modernisation in a joint pursuit of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Noting that just a handful of countries still maintain “diplomatic relations” with the Taiwan region for various reasons, Wang said that this not only contravenes the interests of their own countries and people and goes against Resolution 2758 of the UN General Assembly (which restored China’s seat in the United Nations), but also constitutes an infringement of China’s sovereignty. It must be redressed sooner or later. China urges those countries to be clear-eyed about the trend of the times, seize the historical opportunities, fulfil their obligations under international law, and join the international community in coming to the right side of history. It is never too late to forge a friendship. China is ready to turn a new page in its relations with those countries on the basis of the one-China principle.

The following day, Minister Aingimea met with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng. Hailing the political decision made independently by the Nauru government to resume diplomatic relations with China, Han said history will prove that this is the right decision and once again shows that the one-China principle is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.

China supports Nauru in exploring the path of modernisation that suits its national conditions, and is willing to do its best to help Nauru achieve development based on mutual respect, equality, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, he added.

Aingimea said that the establishment of diplomatic ties with China has put Nauru on the right side of history, and becoming a partner with China will make Nauru’s development prospects brighter and bring more benefits to its people. Nauru looks forward to strengthening exchanges and cooperation with China and will actively participate in the Belt and Road cooperation and the three global initiatives put forward by President Xi.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Xinhua News Agency in the Nauruan capital Yaren shortly before the announcement, Joanna Olsson, director of the Government Information Office of Nauru, said that the Belt and Road Initiative brings development opportunities to Pacific Island nations, and Nauru looks forward to more practical cooperation with China after the two nations resume diplomatic relations.

She said that she is optimistic about future practical cooperation between the two nations, particularly on climate change, water supply and agriculture, among others.

Being a Pacific Island nation, Nauru is deeply affected by climate change, facing urgent challenges such as rising sea levels and land erosion. Some coastal areas are being submerged, necessitating the relocation of residential areas and some public service facilities to higher ground.

Moreover, the scarcity of fresh water for daily life is a persistent concern for local residents. Global climate change has worsened water crises, posing even more severe challenges to the islanders, she said.

Nauru’s move leaves just 12 countries having “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan. Of these, the South Pacific Island state of Tuvalu will hold an election on January 26. At time of writing, there is much speculation in the international media that it may then follow Nauru in establishing diplomatic relations with China.

Nauru won its national independence in 1968 having been under the colonial rule of Britain, Australia, and New Zealand in the form of a “UN Trusteeship”. Tuvalu achieved national independence from British colonialism in 1978.

The following articles were originally published on the websites of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Xinhua News Agency.

Joint Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nauru

Jan. 24 (Chinese Foreign Ministry) –The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nauru, in keeping with the interests and desire of the two peoples, have decided to resume diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, effective as of this day.

The two Governments agree to develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

The Government of the Republic of Nauru recognizes that there is but one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Government of the Republic of Nauru shall sever “diplomatic relations” with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes that it shall no longer develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan. The Government of the People’s Republic of China appreciates this position of the Government of the Republic of Nauru.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Nauru agree to exchange Ambassadors as early as possible and to provide each other with all the necessary assistance for the establishment of Embassies and their performance of functions in each other’s capitals on a reciprocal basis in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and international customary practices.

The undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, signed this communiqué on January 24, 2024 in Beijing. Done in duplicate in the Chinese and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.


Foreign Minister Wang Yi Holds Talks With Foreign Minister of Nauru Lionel Aingimea

Jan. 24 (Chinese Foreign Ministry) — On January 24, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Nauru Lionel Aingimea held talks in Beijing and signed a Joint Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nauru.

Foreign Minister Wang noted that the two sides are about to open a new chapter in China-Nauru relations, which is a historic moment that will go down in history. Bearing in mind the long-term development of Nauru and the fundamental interests of its people, the government of Nauru has made the political resolve to recognize the one-China principle, sever “diplomatic ties” with the Taiwan region and resume diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. In so doing, Nauru has chosen to stand on the right side of history. The Parliament of Nauru has unanimously adopted a motion in support of this decision, which fully represents the will of the Nauruan people. China welcomes and appreciates the decision.

Foreign Minister Wang stressed that the one-China principle is the fundamental prerequisite and political foundation for China to develop relations with other countries. The China-Nauru relationship has returned to the right track. This is a hard-won outcome that must be cherished by both sides. The two countries must preserve the most fundamental political foundation of the bilateral ties, make sure that the relationship gets off to a good start, and move forward in the right direction. China and Nauru enjoy high economic complementarity, extensive common interests and broad cooperation prospects. China will work with Nauru to take the resumption of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to increase exchanges at all levels, share governance experience, and synergize development strategies, so that the two countries will become good brothers, good friends and good partners that trust each other politically, benefit each other economically and support each other in international affairs. Together, the two sides will contribute to a closer community with a shared future between China and Pacific island countries.

Foreign Minister Aingimea noted the Nauruan government’s announcement of severing “diplomatic relations” with the Taiwan region across the board and seeking to resume diplomatic ties with China. This decision was unanimously adopted by the Parliament of Nauru, with a standing ovation by all of its members. It fully shows that this is a right decision which is welcomed by the people and serves the fundamental interests of Nauru. The minister made the solemn commitment that the government of Nauru recognizes that there is but one China in the world, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. Nauru will firmly uphold the one-China principle and give it principal status in its foreign policy.

Foreign Minister Aingimea said that the way China says what it means and does what it says has won the hearts of the people of Nauru. With their diplomatic ties resumed, droplets of friendship between the two countries will create an ocean. Nauru admires China’s remarkable development achievements and great contribution to global growth, and firmly believes in the vast and promising future of the bilateral relationship. Nauru will take today as a new starting point to work with China to boost mutual trust, carry out all-round cooperation, and develop a strong partnership. Nauru highly commends and will take an active part in President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and in the important global initiatives President Xi has put forward.


Wang Yi: China-Nauru Relations Turn a New Page

Jan. 24 (Chinese Foreign Ministry) — On January 24, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Nauru Lionel Aingimea jointly met the press in Beijing after signing a joint communiqué on the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Nauru.

Foreign Minister Wang pointed out that Nauru made the political resolve at its cabinet meeting nine days ago to sever “diplomatic ties” with the Taiwan region and resume diplomatic relations with China, which was unanimously supported by its parliament. This is a political decision made independently by the government of Nauru that fully reflects the common will of the Nauruan people. China appreciates and welcomes this decision.

Foreign Minister Wang noted that today marks a new chapter in China-Nauru relations and that he and his counterpart just signed the Joint Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nauru. The two sides decided to resume diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level as of this day. Nauru thus became the 183rd country to establish diplomatic relations with China.

Foreign Minister Wang pointed out that although China and Nauru are far apart geographically, the two peoples enjoy a long-standing friendship. As developing countries, China and Nauru face the common tasks of growing the economy, improving people’s lives and realizing modernization. As members of the Global South, the two countries share the common aspirations to safeguard sovereignty and independence, uphold the common interests of developing countries, and work for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. These serve as the underlying logic for closer ties between China and Nauru and will surely open up broad vistas for cooperation.

Foreign Minister Wang said that China always believes that countries, regardless of size, strength and wealth, are equals and important members of the international community. China will, following the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, treat Nauru as an equal and support Nauru in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions and chosen independently by its people. China looks forward to working with Nauru to deepen political mutual trust, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, enhance friendship between the people, and take bilateral ties to new heights. China will share with Nauru the development opportunities brought by Chinese modernization in a joint pursuit of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Foreign Minister Wang emphasized that the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and Nauru yet again shows the world that upholding the one-China principle is an unstoppable historical trend. The overwhelming majority of countries in the world accept the one-China principle and recognize that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. No matter how the situation in Taiwan changes, the historical and legal facts that Taiwan is part of China’s territory will not change; the ethos of Chinese civilization that the territory must not be divided and the nation must not be disunited will not change; the international consensus supporting China in upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity will not change; and the inevitable historical process of Taiwan’s return to the motherland and China’s reunification will not change.

Foreign Minister Wang noted that just a handful of countries still maintain “diplomatic relations” with the Taiwan region for various reasons. This not only contravenes the interests of their own countries and people and goes against Resolution 2758 of the U.N. General Assembly, but also constitutes an infringement of China’s sovereignty. It must be redressed sooner and later. China urges those countries to be clear-eyed about the trend of the times, seize the historical opportunities, fulfill their obligations under international law, and join the international community in coming to the right side of history. It is never too late to forge a friendship. China is ready to turn a new page in its relations with those countries on the basis of the one-China principle.


Chinese VP meets Nauru’s foreign minister

BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice President Han Zheng met with Nauru’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Lionel Aingimea in Beijing on Thursday.

Hailing the political decision made independently by the Nauru government to resume diplomatic relations with China, Han said history will prove that this is the right decision and once again shows that the one-China principle is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.

China is willing to actively carry out exchanges and cooperation with Nauru at all levels to open a new chapter in bilateral relations, said Han.

China supports Nauru in exploring the path of modernization that suits its national conditions, and is willing to do its best to help Nauru achieve development based on mutual respect, equality, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, Han said.

He welcomed Nauru’s active participation in the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Aingimea said that the establishment of diplomatic ties with China has put Nauru on the right side of history, and becoming a partner with China will make Nauru’s development prospects brighter and bring more benefits to its people.

Nauru looks forward to strengthening exchanges and cooperation with China and will actively participate in the Belt and Road cooperation and the three global initiatives, he said. 


Nauru eyes more cooperation projects with China after relations resumption, says Nauru official

YAREN, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — The Belt and Road Initiative brings development opportunities to Pacific island nations, and Nauru looks forward to more practical cooperation with China after the two nations resume diplomatic relations, a Nauru official has said.

Joanna Olsson, director of the Government Information Office of Nauru, recently told Xinhua that she is optimistic about future practical cooperation between the two nations, particularly on climate changes, water supply and agriculture, among others.

Being a Pacific island nation, Nauru is deeply affected by climate change, facing urgent challenges such as rising sea levels and land erosion. Some coastal areas are being submerged, necessitating the relocation of residential areas and some public service facilities to higher ground. There is a substantial need for infrastructure in Nauru, said Olsson.

Moreover, the scarcity of fresh water for daily life is a persistent concern for the local residents. Global climate change has worsened water crises, posing even more severe challenges to the islanders.

Due to its unfavorable natural conditions for cultivation, Nauru heavily relies on imports for agricultural products, vegetables and fruits, resulting in high prices in the market, Olsson noted.

In terms of developing Nauru’s tourism industry, the official said the first step is to improve the country’s accommodation capacities through building more hotels.

Olsson noted that ongoing efforts are underway, citing the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant scheduled to be held in Nauru as the government’s initiative to promote the country’s image.

As head of public information and media management, Olsson also looked forward to more exchanges between media from both countries to promote mutual understanding and people-to-people exchanges.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, held talks with Nauru’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Lionel Aingimea in Beijing, China, and they signed a joint communique on the resumption of bilateral diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level. 

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