Tuvaluan foreign minister reportedly withdraws from UN conference after China blocked Taiwanese delegates

Tuvalu’s foreign minister pulled out of the United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal after China blocked three Taiwanese delegates from the Pacific island nation’s list of delegations, Radio New Zealand reported.

Taiwan, which China claims as its territory, is not a member of the United Nations, and its citizens cannot attend UN events as representatives of Taiwan.

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Tuvalu Foreign Minister Simon Coffee walked out of the conference after China challenged the accreditation of three Taiwanese delegates in the Tuvalu delegation, Radio New Zealand reported on Monday.
The country of 12,000 has had diplomatic relations with Taiwan since 1979 and is one of 14 countries that continue to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan rather than China.
Taiwan is practically excluded from the international organizations of which China is a member.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry thanked Tuvalu for its support and condemned China.

“China’s arbitrary pressure on (UN) member states has only once again shown its heinous nature,” the ministry said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reaffirmed Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China.

“Taiwanese authorities’ attempts to squeeze into the UN Conference on Oceans and the Law of the Sea by engaging in petty maneuvers in the international arena or acting as followers of other countries will only humiliate them,” he said at a daily media briefing. in Pekin.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian gestures

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reaffirmed China’s position that Taiwan is part of China. Source: A MONKEY / Liu Zheng

Solomon Islands journalist Dorothy Wickham said Minister Coffee is likely to travel to Australia after calling off an engagement in Portugal.

Minister Coffee brought his country to the attention of the world last year when he spoke at a global climate conference ankle-deep in the sea to show that Tuvalu was “sinking”.
Forty percent of the metropolitan area is underwater at high tide, and the country is projected to be flooded by the end of the century.

About 7,000 people are expected to attend the conference, from heads of state to environmental activists.