Egypt Independent

Taiwan’s last Africa ally tells China ‘no desire’ to switch ties



BEIJING/MBABANE (Reuters) – Taiwan’s last diplomatic ally in Africa, the Kingdom of eSwatini, said on Wednesday it had no intention of switching ties to China, after a Chinese diplomat said he expected it to ditch Taipei soon amid a bitter diplomatic dispute.

Taiwan, which China claims as a wayward province with no right to state-to-state relations, now has formal ties with only 17 countries, almost all small, less developed nations in Central America and the Pacific, like Belize and Nauru.

It lost its latest ally, El Salvador, on Tuesday, the third country to fall to China this year. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has vowed to fight China’s “increasingly out of control” behavior after the move.

Ahead of a summit next month between China and African leaders in Beijing, China has been upping the pressure on Taiwan’s last remaining ally on the continent, eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, to come over to China’s side, diplomatic sources say.