Beijing [China], February 18 (ANI): China has faced rejection from tiny Palau even after intense pressure and arm-twisting, failing to coax it to withdraw its recognition of Taiwan, reported a Canada-based thinktank, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
Palau in 1999 gave international recognition to Taiwan. China then dangled the carrot of tourism to wean it away from Taipei.
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Tourism officials in Palau were surprised in November 2017 to find that the tourist boom from China had ended, with a 22 percent drop in Chinese visitors and a reduction in chartered planes flying to the island.
For the Taiwanese – owned Palau Pacific Airways, bookings from China to Palau fell by 50 percent; leading to the airline shutting shop in 2018. Following this, China simply asked its tour operators to stop sending groups to Palau.
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China has been trying to distance the small islands states from Taiwan with which these countries have long-established ethnic and historical ties. However, it is failing in its quest.
Palau has not withdrawn its diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. It also did not walk out of the Compact of Free Association agreement with the USA under which the US is responsible for the defence of the island state till 2044 and has the exclusive and unlimited use of its land and waterways for strategic purposes.
China is aiming to annex Taiwan and the country is also looking to take on the USA in its quest to build a Chinese global empire. Many questions are raised about China’s intent which is to convince the international community that Taiwan has no independent existence, reported the thinktank.
The setbacks China has suffered in recent years in its effort to spread its tentacles should make Beijing aware of the limits of Chinese influence in the southern Pacific. (ANI)
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