16 May 2005

Nauru says ties with Taiwan reflect common traits

3:49 pm on 16 May 2005

The Nauru Foreign Minister, Frederick Pitcher, says ties have been re-established with Taiwan because the two countries have much in common.

The restoration of ties was cemented at the weekend with the signing of a joint communiqué in Taipei.

Taiwan terminated ties with Nauru in 2002 after the then president Rene Harris established links with China.

However, Mr Pitcher says that was a unilateral action by Mr Harris and was not welcomed.

He says the countries have always been good friends.

"We're both small countries, isolated and at odds with the international community, trying to fit into the world. We saw that in them and we had a natural affinity and friendship with them."

Mr Pitcher says comments that Taiwan has been indulging in cheque-book diplomacy are interesting because he says such criticism could also be levelled at China and other larger states operating in the Pacific.