(Fixes typo in headline, no change to textual content)

SYDNEY/TAIPEI (Reuters) – Nauru will sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognise China, the federal government of the small Pacific Islands nation stated on Monday, marking Taipei’s first diplomatic ally to modify to Beijing following a presidential election.

The Nauru authorities stated that “in one of the best pursuits” of the nation and its individuals it was searching for full resumption of diplomatic relations with China.

“Which means the Republic of Nauru will now not recognise the Republic of China (Taiwan) as a separate nation however moderately as an inalienable a part of China’s territory, and can sever ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan as of today and now not develop any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan,” it stated in a press release.

Taiwan’s overseas ministry stated it might be holding a information convention shortly.

China claims Taiwan as its personal territory with no proper to state-to-state ties, a place Taiwan strongly disputes.

Taiwan safety officers had advised Reuters earlier than Saturday’s election that China was prone to proceed to whittle away on the handful of nations having formal diplomatic ties with Taipei.

Lai Ching-te from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Occasion (DPP) received the presidential election on Saturday as anticipated and can take workplace on Might 20. Earlier than the election China known as Lai a harmful separatist.

Nauru’s transfer leaves Taiwan with solely 12 diplomatic allies, together with Guatemala, Paraguay, Eswatini, Palau and the Marshal Islands.

(Reporting by Kirsty Needham and Yimou Lee; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Enhancing by Tom Hogue and Michael Perry)

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