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China Calls Nauru's Obstruction 'clumsy Farce'

- Sep 07, 2018 -

Friction mars meeting on climate; Philippines removes stranded ship

China said on Wednesday that Nauru's obstruction of a Chinese delegation to a meeting during the Pacific Islands Forum violated international norms and the rules of the forum, calling it a "clumsy farce".

China was invited to attend the meeting on climate change on Tuesday in Nauru as a dialogue partner. Nauru, an island state in the Central Pacific region, is a so-called diplomatic ally of Taiwan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

She noted that Nauru originally demanded that Chinese delegates enter using personal passports, but after protests and threats of a boycott by China and other participants, they were allowed in on diplomatic passports.

During the meeting, Nauru barred China's delegation from speaking, so China lodged a formal protest and walked out, Hua said.

Many delegations from other countries also left, expressing dissatisfaction with Nauru, she added.

Hua said the one-China principle reflects the universal consensus of the international community, and any attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" is doomed to fail.

"We urge Nauru to get a clear understanding, correct its mistake and refrain from taking any action that goes against the trend," she said.

China has always attached importance to developing relationships with countries in Pacific Islands and the forum, she said, adding that it will continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with those states on the basis of the one-China principle.

It is unreasonable to say that China bullies small countries, Hua said, adding that the country stands for the equality of all, large or small.

Grounded vessel moved

The Philippines moved the BRP Gregorio del Pilar from the South China Sea shoal in the Nansha Islands - known as Banyue Jiao - early on Tuesday morning, Hua said, adding that China found no environmental damage.

The Philippine military vessel ran aground on Aug 29.

China has followed the incident closely and has kept in contact with the Philippines, Hua said at a news conference on Wednesday.

The Philippines informed China of the grounding and its rescue plan after the incident. Consultations were held to discuss China's assistance, Hua said.

China's coast guard, which was on duty in the waters, had good interactions with the Philippine ships, and the Philippines expressed appreciation for China's goodwill, Hua said.

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