Nauru president voices support for Taiwan amid China threat
During a press conference in Taipei, Waqa, who is on a five-day state visit to Taiwan, said his island country in Micronesia has been a loyal friend and family of Taiwan, and "you fight for family."
"And that is what Nauru will do and will continue to do, and especially in my term as president," Waqa said.
Waqa was responding to a reporter's question about what he thinks of President Tsai Ing-wen's rejection of Beijing's proposal to adopt the "one China, two systems" model in Taiwan, and whether Nauru will stick by its ally Taiwan.
After the press conference, Waqa made his point again by telling some of the reporters that he resolutely opposes the "one China, two systems" formula.
Asked how Nauru can help Taiwan amid rising pressure from China, Waqa said Nauru has always been Taiwan's staunch supporter.
"And let me say this, the Republic of China, Taiwan, is an excellent global citizen. It promotes mutual benefits, values of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the list goes on," he said.
Waqa said Nauru and Taiwan will continue to work together in areas such as fishing and medical aid.
In response to China's growing influence in the South Pacific, Waqa said China's policies are "designed to entice and hook up some of the countries in the Pacific region."
"We don't agree with China's strategy to push its way through and try to dominate the Pacific, as is what has been happening recently," he said.
Ending the press conference on a light note, Waqa pulled out a ukulele given him as a gift by President Tsai and played a song of friendship he said symbolized the ties between Nauru and Taiwan.