Nauru President Baron Waqa is seeking a formal apology from China for what he calls the insolent behavior of a Chinese official at an international forum.
He told reporters on Wednesday that the South Pacific island state will also take up the issue at the United Nations.
Waqa’s criticism is directed at the head of the Chinese delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.
Waqa said on Tuesday that the Chinese diplomat demanded to speak when another country’s prime minister was due to give a speech. He slammed the move as bullying.
China’s Foreign Ministry rejected the criticism as groundless.
Waqa asked if the Chinese diplomat would behave like that in front of his own country’s president.
He said bigger countries should not disrespect Pacific island nations, adding that China just needs them for its own purposes.
Nauru is one of the Pacific island nations that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, not China.
Waqa’s criticism comes as China is ramping up its political influence in some states in the region as it seeks to establish ties by using financial aid.