Taiwan-funded Nauru penal farm helps boost food self-sufficiency

"The project, under the concept of waste minimization, officially started in January, with a poultry and pig farming section to be completed in August," Daniel Lee chief of the Taiwanese technical mission told CNA in a telephone interview Sunday.

Capacity building for crop planting, livestock raising, fertilizer making, and cooking skills will start in June with the goal being to transfer the farm to the Nauru government at the end of 2020 or early 2021, Lee added.

Nauru is one of 15 countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Why Taiwan has become a problem for WHO

But despite its efforts, it is still effectively locked out of membership in the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its complex relationship with China.

This all exploded over the weekend when a top WHO official appeared to avoid questions about Taiwan in a TV interview that has gone viral, attracting criticism and even accusations of bias.

What happened?

On Saturday, Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK aired an interview with Bruce Aylward, the WHO assistant director-general, who spoke to journalist Yvonne Tong on a video call.

Nauru congratulates Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen on re-election

Ms Tsai has secured a second term as President.

 “You are a great friend of Nauru & the Pacific region & we look forward to continuing to stand with Taiwan & stand up for democracy across the world,” the Nauru Government tweeted on its Twitter account.

In response the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan thanked Nauru for the warm congratulatory message.

Taiwan, Nauru sign aviation services agreement in Taipei

The pact was inked by Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung and visiting Nauru President Lionel Aingimea at a ceremony witnessed by President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Under the agreement, all commercial flight operators from Taiwan and Nauru will be allowed to operate inbound and outbound flight services between the two countries.

According to Tsai, Nauru Airlines in November sent its representatives to Taiwan to discuss airline cooperation, such as extending flight routes to Taipei.

Nauru president reaffirms ties with Taiwan

Aingimea arrived in Taiwan on Friday for a five-day state visit, his third to Taiwan and first as president.

In an exclusive interview with the CNA on Saturday, Aingimea said bilateral relations are significant and reiterated that he sees Taiwan as family, which he also told Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen during a welcome banquet Friday.

"When you start using words like family, it takes it up to a different level, a level that ensures that when things happen within family, family sticks together," Aingimea said.

Taiwan to put US$2 million in health fund for Pacific nations

Of Taiwan’s 15 remaining official diplomatic allies, four are located in the Pacific, namely the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Palau and Nauru. Earlier this year, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched recognition to China.

Speaking during a meeting with participants in the 2019 Pacific Islands Leadership Programme in Taipei Tuesday, Chen said that apart from contributing to scholarships and to regional development plans, Taiwan would also launch the healthcare fund.

Nauru President meets Taiwanese President following UNGA

In a tweet, President Tsai said she is deeply moved when President Aingimea adjusted his flights after the UN General Assembly in New York to stopover in Taiwai and ‘give weight to his words.’

"#Taiwan & #Nauru are of a family, & the family gets together to show support at a time of need.”

President Aingimea rearranged his itineraries and made a layover in Taiwan on Saturday during his return trip to Nauru to “show his support for Taiwan,” according to a statement issued by the Presidential Office on Friday (Sept. 27).

Once a stronghold, Taiwan's presence in the Pacific wanes

In just four days, Taiwan's diplomatic allies fell from 17 to 15, further isolating the island as Beijing aggressively courts the handful of countries that still recognise the government in Taipei.

The Pacific had been a stronghold of support for Taipei as its diplomatic allies steadily dwindled. Until this week, six countries in the region recognised Taiwan over China. But in terms of population, Solomon Islands and Kiribati were the biggest.

Taiwan cuts ties with Solomon Islands, accuses China of 'dollar diplomacy'

The move was announced in a statement released on Monday by Taiwan's ministry of foreign affairs.

"The government hereby declares the termination of diplomatic relations with Solomon Islands with immediate effect, the end of all bilateral co-operative projects, as well as the recall of the staff of its Embassy, technical mission, and medical mission stationed in Solomon Islands," the statement said.

"The Taiwan government also demands that Solomon Islands immediately recall its government personnel from Taiwan."

Nauru, Tuvalu firm on support for Taiwan

The renewed competition between China and Taiwan is expected to be a focus at this year's Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu, especially as Taipei's diplomatic allies dwindle.

Baron Waqa and Enele Sopoaga told a news conference that their support for Taipei remains unshakeable.

Mr Waqa said Taiwan has been treated unfairly by the international community, including the United Nations.