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A win for sovereignty: Nauru recognizes Beijing

The Nauruan flag (C) was removed at the so-called
The Nauruan flag (C) was removed at the so-called "embassy district" in Taipei, China's Taiwan region, January 15, 2024. /CFP

The Nauruan flag (C) was removed at the so-called "embassy district" in Taipei, China's Taiwan region, January 15, 2024. /CFP

Editor's note: Keith Lamb, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is a University of Oxford graduate with a Master of Science in Contemporary Chinese Studies. His primary research interests are China's international relations and "socialism with Chinese characteristics." The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

With the Pacific Island nation of Nauru now recognizing Beijing, instead of Taipei, as the sole representative of China, the world marches one step closer to a non-hegemonic future. Today, more than 180 out of 195 states support Beijing's one-China principle. This includes the U.S. and nearly all of Europe too!

However, the fact that with one cheek Western powers officially stand with Beijing, while with the other they canvass for "Taiwan independence," allowing their media to give a false impression that Taiwan is independent, shows their blatant disregard for sovereignty – a principle that China, as a member of the Global South, staunchly defends.

This contradiction is evident in the Western celebratory reporting of Taiwan's recent elections, where the separatist Democratic Progressive Party won 40 percent of the votes, down from the previous 57 percentin the 2020 leadership elections.

In contrast, Nauru's decision to cut relations with Taipei is belittled as one due to pressure arising from Beijing. This view of Nauru is utter nonsense, considering it is simply standing with the majority, which recognizes the importance of sovereignty.

Locals play on a beach in Nauru, January 17, 2024. /Xinhua
Locals play on a beach in Nauru, January 17, 2024. /Xinhua

Locals play on a beach in Nauru, January 17, 2024. /Xinhua

It's not just the will of the global community who stand in favor of Beijing's sovereignty over Taiwan and staunchly reject Taiwan's independence – the Chinese people also desire unification of their territory. Consequently, any actions taken by Taipei for independence will only meet a wave of condemnation by the majority who understand that the principle of sovereignty is the bedrock of the global system as it allows for each state to decide its own governing form relevant to its unique historical conditions.

Western powers in their hegemonic drive have long disregarded the sovereignty and history of others. China has always been a target to be carved up, as they did with the rest of the world. The Taiwan question continues to be part of this drive, which seeks to bring China under Western control.

With a history of colonialism, interventions, and color revolutions, the world naturally stands with Beijing whose struggle is also their struggle. Before, some were not brave enough to speak out. However, with multi-polarity on the rise and the decline of U.S. hegemony, Nauru can feel confident to step out and make its own unconstrained decision.

When it comes to hegemony, Pacific nations, like Nauru, should be especially on their guard. Over the last century, the U.S. has expanded its territory into the Pacific. Hawaii, in living memory, was swallowed up and became the 50th U.S. state in 1959 – today its native language and culture have been decimated!

Conversely, the Taiwan question is not one of Taiwan's culture being swallowed up, nor is it a question of defending Taiwan's system, as Westerners are taught. In terms of culture, Taiwan already mirrors that in adjacent Fujian Province, where family ties abound. Then Chinese mainland is not a monolith, cultural diversity is celebrated – Taiwan's diversity is merely one of many.

When it comes to defending Taiwan's system, history proves this is not the case. When the nationalists fled to Taiwan, they, supported by the U.S., instigated brutal martial law – geopolitics and the interests of global capital always outweighed systemic concerns, as they do today.

Mindful of the peculiarities of history and its compatriots in Taiwan, Beijing patiently seeks unification through a "One Country,Two Systems" solution that respects Taiwan's current governing system while dismantling the hegemonic force of sovereign interference – opposed by all.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com. Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

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