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The Pacific island nation of Nauru has severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan for the second time.
Nauru has broken off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established relations with China, the Pacific island nation's government said in a statement on Monday. This is a blow to Taiwan's efforts to retain its dwindling number of diplomatic allies.
Taiwan also confirmed it had severed diplomatic ties in a press conference on Monday, two days after Taiwanese voters gave the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a historic third term in office.
The election saw Lai Ching-te, the current vice president of the DPP and a staunch supporter of Taiwan's sovereignty, elected as the new president. Both Lai and his vice president, Taiwan's former top envoy to the US Hsiao Bi-khim, are openly loathed by Chinese officials.
China's ruling Communist Party views Taiwan as its own territory, although it has never controlled it, and has increased diplomatic pressure on Taipei in recent years by poaching its allies.
During the DPP's eight-year term, Taiwan lost ten diplomatic allies to China.
Naura's switch in diplomatic loyalty to Beijing leaves Taiwan with only 12 diplomatic allies, mostly small nations in the Pacific and Latin America, as well as the Vatican.
This is the second time Nauru has severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Pacific island nation first severed ties in 2002, followed by a resumption in 2005.
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