Taiwan and Somaliland are to establish representative offices in each other’s countries, after signing a treaty in Taipei in February, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announced yesterday.
The two nations have agreed to establish a “Taiwan Representative Office” and “Somaliland Representative Office,” Wu told a news conference in Taipei, after Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) a day earlier shared a foreign media report that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has appointed a representative to Taiwan.
Taiwan maintains diplomatic ties with 15 countries, with Eswatini being its only ally in Africa.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
Somaliland, which is on the Horn of Africa and has a population of nearly 3.9 million, does not have formal relations with China.
This is not the first time that a representative office has used the name “Taiwan,” which was gladly received by Somaliland, Wu said, adding that the name “Republic of China” was not used because formal ties have not been established.
Taiwan has not set any limits on what form bilateral relations should take, and both sides finally agreed that representative offices would best reflect their interests, Wu said, adding that discussions began at the end of last year.
He and Somaliland Minister of Foreign Affairs Yasin Hagi Mohamoud Faraton on Feb. 26 signed a treaty at a ceremony in Taipei, after which Faraton also met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Wu said.
The treaty is named the “Bilateral Protocol between and by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Government of the Republic of Somaliland,” the ministry said.
While the exact dates for the offices’ launches are still to be negotiated, Taiwan has since Feb. 6 sent officials to Somaliland to make preparations, he said.
Both sides would collaborate in areas such as agriculture, education, energy, fisheries, health, information and communications, and mining, he added.
Asked if Taiwan recognizes Somaliland as an independent country, as the East African country is not recognized by the UN, Wu said that eight countries or global organizations, including Canada, Denmark, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Turkey, the EU, the UK and the UN, have established representative agencies there.
Somaliland also has representative offices in 22 countries, he said, adding that Taiwan’s measure is no different from that of other countries.
“Somaliland has been independent since 1991 and has held three presidential elections,” Wu said.
It is also recognized by many other countries as a democratic and uncorrupt nation, he added.
Somaliland, which is in northwestern Somalia, in 1991 declared independence from the latter.
Taiwan has since 2009 gradually developed positive relations with Somaliland, with bilateral collaborations focusing on boosting maritime security, medicine and health, and education, Wu said.
Both sides would appoint a senior diplomat and four officers for each new office, Wu said, but withheld the officials’ names.
Yen Chen-shen (嚴震生), a research fellow at National Chengchi University’s Institute of International Relations and an expert on African politics, said that it is a positive development for Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have established formal ties with Somaliland in one swoop.
Establishing a representative office does not necessarily lead to establishing formal ties, he added.
While the office might be of “very limited” help in expanding relations with other African nations, given China’s influence on the continent, it symbolizes that “at least we are fighting back,” he said.
MAKING A MOVE: Starting on Monday, short-term business travelers can apply for shorter quarantine periods, while transits of up to eight hours would be allowed The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced an easing of restrictions that would from Monday next week allow foreigners to visit or make a transit flight in Taiwan. A policy allowing short-term business travelers from countries with low or medium risks of COVID-19 infections to apply for shorter quarantine periods is also to resume that day. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to be extended after the end of this month, special conditions for foreign nationals to enter Taiwan would be restored from Monday. Foreign nationals
‘UNFRIENDLY’: COA Minister Chen Chi-chung said that Beijing probably imposed the sanction because the pineapple production season is about to start in Taiwan More than 99 percent of pineapples sold to China passed inspections, the government said yesterday, after China earlier in the day abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from the nation, which Taipei called an “unfriendly” move. From Monday, China is to stop importing pineapples from Taiwan, the Chinese General Administration of Customs said. The regulation is a normal measure for ensuring biosafety, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said in a news release later yesterday. Since last year, Chinese customs officials have repeatedly seized pineapples imported from Taiwan that carried “perilous organisms,” Ma said. Were the organisms to spread in China, they would
CONTINUED VIGILANCE: People would still be required to wear masks at eight types of public spaces and border controls would continue, Chen Shih-chung told reporters The government’s autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program is to continue beyond Sunday, but eating and drinking on high-speed trains would be allowed from Monday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that while there were no new confirmed cases in Taiwan yesterday, the global COVID-19 situation remains serious, so the autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program would be extended beyond its Sunday deadline. “Border control measures, including requiring a negative polymerase chain reaction test result obtained within three days of boarding a plane to Taiwan, and undergoing quarantine in a
MORE RISK? Three Taiwanese family members were found to have the Brazilian variant, which CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo said might be more infectious From Wednesday, all travelers who have been in Brazil in the past 14 days are required to be quarantined at a centralized facility after arriving in Taiwan and undergo a COVID-19 test upon ending quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting from 12am on Wednesday, all travelers arriving from Brazil, including those who have transited through the country in the past 14 days, would have to stay at a centralized quarantine facility. “They will be tested for COVID-19 upon completing the 14-day quarantine, and they