China, Nauru, Maldives, Tuvalu – geopolitical situation in Asia
China restored diplomatic relations with Nauru after the Pacific island country severed ties with Taiwan in early January. It is another step by Beijing towards isolating Taiwan’s democratic government. The Nauruan government’s announcement came just two days after Taiwan’s presidential elections. The United States expressed disappointment with this decision, as they maintain official diplomatic relations with China, as well as unofficial ones with Taiwan, including the sale of fighters and weapons.
The Maldives government has permitted a Chinese research vessel to dock in the archipelago. In the local port, the ship is to change the crew, replenish supplies and not conduct any research in the waters of the Maldives. That decision may exacerbate tense relations with India, which perceives China as a threat to the region – in its opinion, its actions may have a hidden military nature.
Elections to the 16-member parliament were held in Tuvalu, a small island in the Pacific. Intense geopolitical competition and China’s growing influence in the region mean that the outcome could have consequences beyond the island’s borders. Tuvalu is currently one of 12 countries that maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Still, pro-Taiwanese Prime Minister Kausea Natano lost his mandate due to the elections.