Nauru tirade on China to turn itself into a laughing stock

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/7 23:03:40

Nauruan President Baron Waqa was tough toward China at the end of the Pacific Islands Forum earlier this week. He accused China of "bullying" other nations and even threatened to take it to the United Nations. Such a deliberate provocation against China has made headlines in Western media. This is perhaps the biggest limelight the president of a nation of just 11,000 people has ever received since his inauguration.

Nauru established diplomatic relationship with Beijing in 2002 after cutting its ties with the island of Taiwan. But it resumed its "diplomatic ties" with the island in 2005, bowing to Taiwan's "dollar diplomacy."

The Guardian reported that Taiwan was paying Nauruan government ministers a secret $5,000 monthly stipend in exchange for continued relations.

Waqa is an actor with a scheming and deep mind. He provoked China at a time when Australia, the US and other Western countries are concerned about China's projection of power in the South Pacific region. He is counting on not only Taiwan, but also Australia and the US to pay for his "performance."

The Chinese people may consider it entertainment. China has no intention to bully a South Pacific nation as far away as Nauru. China's footprint has extended to every corner of the world, with Beijing having no interest in politically buying off Nauru. Nauruan authorities should not be too sentimental.

But Waqa's farce makes us realize that some small countries may find fault with China to exploit devious gains. The Chinese people should not take them seriously, otherwise they will be flattered. The performance staged by Waqa will soon be forgotten by the international community. After that, Nauruan authorities will face lasting loneliness.

The US and Australia said they will invest more in Pacific island nations to deal with China's rising influence. Their mentality reflects the problems that Chinese foreign investment faces. No matter where China invests, it will be scrutinized by the West as the West is always alert to China's "expansion of influence."

The US-led West will find itself exhausted in doing so. China's increasing overseas investment is out of its natural need and is driven by the country's domestic demand. The forcible expansion of investment by the US and Australia in the South Pacific is driven by political factors rather than economic ones. Such investment can easily turn awkward.

After the farce, Taiwan authorities perhaps have to foot another bill. It is expected that Taiwan will pay heed to Nauru, a country that strives to hold ties with it and caters to it. But Nauru has turned itself into a laughing stock.


Newspaper headline: Nauru tirade on China to turn itself into a joke


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