Nauru president in Taiwan for 5-day visit

President Baron Waqa of Nauru, one of Taiwan’s 17 remaining diplomatic allies, arrived in the country on Monday for a five-day state visit.

Waqa will attend a state banquet hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen and travel to Taichung to tour the city’s Flora Expo, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). He will also visit Kaohsiung to observe the city’s port and harbor construction.

Waqa last visited Taiwan on a transit stop in May 2018 after attending a meeting of Pacific Island leaders in Japan.

Waqa won hearts in Taiwan in September 2018 when he demanded China apologize for the “arrogant” and “crazy” behavior of a senior envoy at the annual Pacific Islands Forum held in Nauru, which Taiwan helped fund despite being excluded from participating due to the wishes of China.

“They're not our friends. They just need us for their own purposes,” Waqa said of China at the forum. “We’re seeing a lot of big countries coming in and sometimes buying their way through the Pacific, some are extremely aggressive, even to the point that they tread all over us … From this forum, all leaders [now] know how arrogant some of these people are.”



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