Xi meets with Nauru president after island nation severed ties with Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping is showing support for Nauru after the Southern Pacific island nation cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan earlier this year.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Xi met with Nauru President David Adeang in Beijing on Monday. Adeang is making a state visit to China.

During the meeting, Xi said Nauru's decision to sever ties with Taiwan is in line with the one-China principle, which he said is the trend of the times.

Nauru made the decision in favor of China in January, two days after Lai Ching-te of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party was elected Taiwan's president.

Xi pledged China's support in building infrastructure and tackling climate change.

The two leaders signed a cooperation agreement that supports the Belt and Road economic initiative, Xi's pet project.

Observers say Beijing is leveraging its economic power to urge pro-Taiwan governments to switch their affiliation to China. They say Beijing is in effect pressuring Taiwan's administration led by the Democratic Progressive Party.

The number of countries with diplomatic ties with Taiwan has dropped from 22 to 12 since Tsai Ing-wen of the party took power in 2016.