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China rejects Taiwan's cooperation deal with Somaliland

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Chinese embassy in Mogadishu has dismissed the recently signed cooperation deal between Taiwan and Somaliland, insisting that the former is a territory of Beijing, in a move that could trigger diplomatic fallouts and retributions.

In a tweet on Wednesday, The People's Republic of China said there is one China which is "recognized" by other countries, adding that it has "steadily" grown over years as one of the world's most competitive economy.

Beijing further rebuked separatists in Taiwan, which is officially known as the Republic of China, adding that such activities remain illegal and will never be recognized by the government of the People's Republic of China.

"There is general recognition of one China by countries around the world, a trend that has steadily grown," read the tweet. "We resolutely oppose two Chinas, one China, one Taiwan, Taiwan independence, and the separatist forces advocating Taiwan independence and their separatist activities."

Further, Beijing insisted that it will "never allow anyone, any organization, or any political party to separate any piece of territory from China at any time or in any form. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China".

"There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is a part of China and the government of PRC is the sole legal government representing the whole of China," added the tweet, which further expresses China's determination to keep holding on Taiwan, a small island in East Asia, which seceded from China.

On Wednesday, Taiwan made public its agreement with Somaliland, another breakaway region of Somalia, adding that the two regions would establish offices in their respective territories for future cooperations, including trade and diplomatic ties.

Muse Bihi Abdi, the president of Somaliland, confirmed that the delegation from Hargeisa had been received in Taipei, with sources indicating that the deal was first signed in February this year, only to be made public five months later.

"The Republic of Somaliland and its delegation are grateful for your warm welcome earlier in Taiwan. Excellency, as you expressed, the bilateral relationship between Somaliland and Taiwan is built upon shared values and mutual respect. Our Representative Office will be opened soon in Taiwan," he said in a tweet.

Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of the separatist region of Taiwan, also acknowledged the deal with Somaliland, adding that the move is geared towards building bilateral ties based on shared values and that the offices in both Taipei and Hargeisa will be put in place.

"It was a great pleasure to meet Somaliland Foreign Minister Hagi Mohamoud earlier this year. Taiwan and Somaliland are building bilateral ties based on shared values, and we look forward to opening representative offices in both countries to expand mutually beneficial cooperation," she noted.

According to Somaliland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hargeisa identified issues of mutual concern, including building-bridges of diplomacy; opening missions to boost political and socioeconomic links between the Republic of Somaliland and the Republic of China [Taiwan].

While Somaliland is fighting to be recognized globally after seceding from Somalia in 1991, Taiwan has also been handling a similar predicament, with China insisting that it falls within its territory, a move that has strained relations between the two.

But for Somaliland, there is a glimpse of a better future after Djibouti recently brokered a meeting between Hargeisa and Mogadishu, and the outcome of the talks is expected within the next month. The two regions had united in 1960 shortly after their respective independence from Italy and Britain.


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