The migration of the population from the small sinking island depends on the relationship with Taiwan or China

The agreement with Australia announced in November by the previous Prime Minister of Tuvalu Kause Natano and the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, offered the inhabitants of Tuvalu, who number only 11.500, to gradually move to Australia over several years.

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Tuvalu, Photo: Shutterstock
Tuvalu, Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

The new prime minister of the tiny island country of Tuvalu in the Pacific Ocean said today that he will maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan and will not establish relations with China - the fate of the population of that island, which the ocean is slowly swallowing, depends on this orientation.

Prime Minister Feleti Teo told AP that the impacts of climate change - rising ocean levels - will remain top priorities for his country, which is made up of a series of low-lying atolls.

The agreement with Australia announced in November by Tuvalu's previous Prime Minister Kause Natano and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered Tuvalu's population of only 11.500 to gradually move to Australia over several years to avoid rising ocean levels and worsening storms.

But Australia made it conditional on the fact that it approves Tuvalu's foreign policy decisions, which the new prime minister wants to change.

Teo told the AP that he would not speculate whether Australia wants a veto to avoid Tuvalu possibly entering into a security pact with China, which signed one with the Solomon Islands in 2022, raising the prospect of a Chinese naval stronghold in the southern Pacific. of the ocean.

The office of Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong did not respond to an AP request to say whether renegotiations with Tuvalu were possible on the matter.

Teo, the 61-year-old prime minister, a newcomer to the Parliament with a total of only 16 deputies who are all independent because there is no political party, and his eight ministers were sworn in on Wednesday, a month after the general elections in the small but strategically important country because on halfway between Australia and Hawaii.

After Teo was elected prime minister by 10 of his fellow MPs on Monday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Tuvalu to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and "stand on the right side of history by making the right decision that truly serves their long-term interests" - to restore the relationship Beijing.

In January, the tiny atoll nation of Nauru formed an alliance with China, leaving Tuvalu as one of only three Pacific island nations linked to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that China claims as its territory.

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