Eswatini Daily News

By Bahle Gama

More than 50 years since the inception of diplomatic relations between Eswatini and Taiwan, the countries have promised to continue to pledge allegiance to each other.

Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini met with President Tsai Ing-wen during a working visit to Taiwan. Making remarks, President Tsai said the two countries collaborated, supported each other, and stood together as important partners in combating the pandemic.

“We have also bolstered cooperation in such areas as trade and the economy, public health, and information and communications technology,” she said.

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The President stated that Taiwan will continue to marshal the strengths of both government and the private sector to accelerate cooperation and exchanges to further deepen ties, adding that the PM’s visit demonstrated the strong bond between the two countries, “and carries great significance for deepening our bilateral relations.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the two countries collaborated and supported each other by jointly manufacturing masks and stood together as important partners in combating the pandemic.

“We have also bolstered cooperation in such areas as trade and the economy, public health, and information and communications technology, creating greater well-being for both our peoples,” said the President.

The President added that both countries respect the international order and firmly maintain regional peace and stability.

Taiwan, Eswatini,
Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini with President Tsai Ing-Wen

“I would like to take this opportunity to extend my special appreciation to the Kingdom of Eswatini for its longstanding support of Taiwan’s international participation. Prime Minister Dlamini has also spoken out for Taiwan multiple times on the international stage. Such gestures of friendship have deeply touched the people of Taiwan,” she said.

The PM echoed the President stating that the program spoke to the entrenched and far-reaching nature of the diplomatic relations which span 55 years, as it allows for interactions with development partners crucial to our socio-economic development in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

He stated that the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with La Nina and El Nino which is currently affecting the Southern African region, exposed the entire work where Eswatini was not spared, in her capacity to deal with such a large-scale phenomenon.

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“The lessons we learned during this time and the assistance received from Taiwan have further cemented our relationship and have given us renewed hope that together we can still reach the more uncharted ground in our relationship,” he said.

Dlamini further stated that Taiwan has proven to be more than a political ally to the Eswatini but an undisputed development partner. It is against this backdrop that Eswatini will be fostering more collaboration with developmental partners in Taiwan to share the know-how on the country’s ability to self-sustain despite the very harsh conditions that Taiwan has survived thus far.

He added that good cordial relations that exist between the two countries have brought in tangible outcomes in the development of Eswatini, especially in the rural development where nationals have been assisted through rural electrification, agriculture, health, academic cooperation, and infrastructure, to mention but a few.

“Through the education collaboration, the Kingdom has benefited from a well-educated workforce with exposure to a world-class education system. The relatively new Africa Plan is likely to exponentially increase the number of Emaswati taking to Taiwan for education and work opportunities,” he said.

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He also reiterated the country’s commitment to stand in solidarity with Taiwan in the international forum through full advocacy for admission into the United Nations and its agencies.

“It is our wish to see Taiwan fully participate in international agencies to impart its knowledge and share milestones on development in issues that are affecting the world, including climate change, health, energy, and pollution,” he said.

The PM emphasised that Eswatini is fully opposed to any sort of bullying or aggression by any country or state, “as we believe people should maintain the freedom to choose how to be governed, and state sovereignty should be respected at all times, and the people of Taiwan should be governed by a government they elect themselves in their free and fair elections with no external pressure.”

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