17 Mar 2005

Nauru to appoint its first ambassador to China

3:03 pm on 17 March 2005

Nauru says it intends to appoint its first-ever ambassador to China ahead of a formal State visit by Nauru's President, Ludwig Scotty, to China in May.

Mr Scotty is in China at the moment, but will return to Nauru by Monday.

Accompanied by his Foreign Minister, David Adeang, and other officials, Mr Scotty has discussed bilateral ties and economic and technological cooperation with China's Vice Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi.

Mr Adeang said shortly after his return today that a formal bilateral agreement is expected to be signed between China and Nauru during a State visit scheduled for May.

And Mr Adeang says Nauru will discuss the appointment of an ambassador next week, and hopes to have someone in the position before the May State visit.

"It does signify a commitment by Nauru to the relationship between our two countries, expressing also every hope that the strengthening of our bilateral relations will derive significant benefit to both countries."

Mr Adeang says China has welcomed this development.

Nauru was an ally of Taiwan until 2002 but changed diplomatic ties before the election of the current government last October.