14 August 2019
Early thinking on climate change and political attitudes towards Taiwan preceded the official opening of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum summit.
It has been forecast that the renewed competition between China and Taiwan is expected to be a focus at the summit in Tuvalu, beginning today.
Forum leaders, however, are likely to try and not make China the main issue during talks but to focus on climate change.
In the interim, the leaders of Nauru and Tuvalu have re-affirmed their support for Taiwan.
Baron Waqa and Enele Sopoaga told an early news conference that their support for Taipei remains unshakeable.
Mr Waqa said Taiwan has been treated unfairly by the international community, including the United Nations.
"The only concern that we have is that they are not allowed to participate in international fora. We are concerned that the rest of the world and especially at the UN are not living up to their principles and policies where people are not to be left behind," Baron Waga said.
In respect of early exchanges on climate change, Australia's minister for the Pacific has said Australia is doing more to combat climate change in the region.
Alex Hawke's comments came day after the Fiji Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, had urged the region's largest economy to reform its climate policies, and move away from coal.
Mr Hawke said his government would do either of those things, and it wouldn’t resume payments to the Green Climate Fund, as urged by small island states.
But he said his country is helping with a newly-announced half-billion dollar adaptation package.
Mr, Hawke said Australia absolutely recognised the threat climate change poses to countries like Tuvalu.
Tuvalu's prime minister has welcomed Australia's half-a-billion dollar climate change adaptation package, but says it still doesn't excuse climate inaction.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the package ahead of his arrival in Tuvalu for the Pacific Islands Forum.
But Tuvalu's Enele Sopoaga, who earlier had chaired a meeting of the region's nine small island states, said while the Australian initiative was welcomed, it needed to be coupled with other commitments.
“We must push forward and to seek urgent actions, concrete actions by the global community and I certainly wish our colleagues from Australia and others will take heed of this imperative so we can move forward," Enele Sopoaga reportedly said.
Source of news reports – Radio New Zealand.