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International News: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen visits Eswatini; Its last African ally

Posted: Tuesday, September 5, 2023. 7:40 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: According to Reuters, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen departed on Tuesday for a significant visit to Eswatini, marking Taipei’s enduring bond with its final ally on the African continent. President Tsai’s visit underscores Taiwan’s determination to maintain its global presence and emphasizes its position as a force for good in the international community.

Taiwan, viewed by China as its territory without the privilege of formal state-to-state interactions, currently enjoys diplomatic relations with a mere 13 countries. These nations predominantly include smaller, less developed territories across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, such as Belize and Nauru. This roster saw a reduction in March when Honduras severed its long-standing ties with Taiwan.

Before her departure, Tsai delivered remarks at the airport, reflecting on Eswatini as a “familiar old friend.” Her words echoed the sentiment of Taiwan’s unwavering global outreach, saying, “Not only will Taiwan’s footsteps to the world not stop, but we will also continue to move forward more firmly and self-confidently so that the world can see Taiwan’s steady force for good.” These comments were broadcast live by the presidential office.

The Taiwan President’s visit to Eswatini, which was previously recognized as Swaziland, spans from September 5th to 7th. This trip commemorates two significant milestones: the 55th anniversary of Eswatini’s independence and the 55th year of robust bilateral ties between the two nations. It’s worth noting that Eswatini, nestled almost entirely within the boundaries of South Africa, received a visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping just last month.

Unlike her trips to Latin American nations, which typically involve transits through the United States—a move that consistently provokes Beijing—Tsai is taking a direct flight to Eswatini. The Taiwan President had previously visited Eswatini in 2018. On this occasion, she is joined by Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua.

Taiwan has consistently shown its support for the southern African nation, which is governed by an absolute monarchy. In 2021, this support materialized in the form of antiviral medication, aiding King Mswati III in his recovery from COVID-19.

 

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