Taiwan lost one of its few remaining allies Tuesday. El Salvador severed diplomatic ties with the island nation supposedly after asking for money that the Taiwanese foreign ministry was unwilling to provide. This comes amid reports that the economy of Palau, another Taiwanese ally, is now reeling from a tourism ban imposed by China last year. Taiwan’s president is in the United States visiting NASA’s control center in Houston, Texas, something China has long opposed. U.S.-China relations are frayed. It seems like they won’t improve anytime soon.
Elsewhere in the Pacific, Samoa’s prime minister criticized Tonga’s request for China to forgive its debt. He says that such requests only damage the credit-worthiness of Pacific island nations, which will likely borrow in international markets in the future. The statement shows that in the fight against China’s expansion into the South Pacific – expansion made possible by the power of Beijing’s pocketbook – there is hardly