DHARAMSALA, Sept 6: President of Nauru, the host country of the Pacific Islands Forum has called China’s top diplomat at the forum an “insolent” and a “bully”.
President Baron Waqa made the remarks after the Chinese diplomat Du Qiwen, insisted on speaking out of turn at the forum on Tuesday though protocol dictated speaking priority be given to ministers over diplomats. Nauru is hosting leaders of 18 Pacific nations, plus delegations from non-member countries including the US and China.
“The Chinese demanded to be heard when [Tuvalu’s] prime minister was about to speak,” Waqa was quoted as saying on The Guardian.
“He insisted and was very insolent about it, and created a big fuss and held up the meeting of leaders for a good number of minutes when he was only an official. So maybe because he was from a big country he wanted to bully us,” Waqa added.
According to the report, the Chinese delegates fuss about speaking out of turn held up the meeting for 15 minutes as the President Baron Waqa confronted the Chinese envoy. The Chinese delegation headed by Du later stormed out of the meeting in displeasure. This is not the first conflagration between the tiny island and China.
Nauru and Tuvalu are two of the six Pacific countries to have diplomatic ties with Taiwan and the tiny nation had a visa row earlier with China that almost derailed the entire meeting.