China is Sweeping Up Pacific Island Allies —Here’s how Washington can Fight Back

FP China Is Sweeping Up Pacific Island Allies

When China, a country of 1.4 billion people, threatened Palau, a Pacific island nation with a population of just 18,000, to switch its diplomatic ties from Taiwan to Beijing or face economic hardship in 2018, Palau did not budge. The island country remained steadfast even when China dispatched fighter jets across the Taiwan Strait after Palau’s president later visited the island. Its national philosophy can be summed up by the words of the editor of one of Palau’s two newspapers: “If we have the power to decide, let’s be the last man standing with Taiwan. [Other] countries will think we don’t just switch; we stay with our friends until the very end.”

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