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WELCOME TO THE MOST RESPECTED SOMALI DISCUSSIONS FORUM ON THE NET
Suldaanka, August 7, 2020 in
Maanta China Somaliland waa uga tilmaamantay/suntantay Qaaradda madaw ee Africa.
Africa rag xiniinyo leh wali waa ku hadheen oo lacag aan dhaafsiisan doonin damiir kooda iyo principles kooda.
That is the take away of the 7 day marathon talks between the Chinese and Somaliland, where Chinese brought their biggest diplomatic guns on special non-stop flight from Beijing to Hargeisa.
El-Presidente Mudane Muse Biixi has proven again that he is no-nonsense man. And by that he has won a lot of admirers from around the world and specially in the crucial and important group in the Foreign Policy circles.
Africans are watching and learning from Somaliland.
what happens to not meeting them?
Got it. So what's Biixi's position?
They can't keep up. Befuddled, bemused and bewildered by Somaliland’s growing gravitas at international diplomacy. While they play tiddlywinks with Mudulood this and Dhuusomareeb 2.4 that. At least they're a curious bunch.
A Habit of Courage.. Tiny Somaliland Snubs The Chinese Communist Party
The tiny almost state that is Somaliland has yet again put its neighbours, and pretty much everybody else, to shame. With a history of achieving against the odds, this beacon of near democracy in the Horn of Africa has just decided to snub China. And do so in a very public fashion.
In some ways this is hardly surprising. China has for a while now been supporting the rump state of Somalia and its so called “territorial integrity” – which is diplomatic sub speak for a re-annexation of Somaliland. Given that the smaller, former protectorate of British Somaliland has been a beacon of near peace and stability since it declared its independence from the maniacal regime of Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has never recovered, though is slowly limping out of decades of internecine and Islamist strife and murder. Whereas, Somaliland has taken a different track, forging ahead with an independent, African form of democracy that has, by and large, kept its citizenry safe.
The rejection of Chinese overtures by the Government of Somaliland is as brave as it is unusual. For decades Sino influence in Africa, particularly East Africa has been almost untrammeled. In the last 15 years upwards of £400bn has been invested directly by the government of President Xi, and many, many more billions by state owned or para independent firms. Yet here is this country, of 3.5 million turning round to the behemoth and simply saying ‘No’. Not just once but twice it is reported.
This extraordinary moment took place a few days ago during a visit to the country’s capital, Hargeisa in the last week of Qin Jian, by China’s Ambassador to Somalia and a high-ranking delegation from the foreign ministry in Peking.
The diplomats had arrived after a hastily organised trip, triggered by the strengthening relations between President Muse Bihi Abdi and Taiwan. Somalia, recipient of increasing investment from China, has recently affirmed its support for China’s territorial claims over Taiwan. Chinese interests have lasted since 2007 when CNOOC, a state-owned Chinese oil producer, has been involved in the northern province of Puntland, the region closest to the Somaliland border.
Thus, to see little Somaliland making formal overtures to Taipei, overtures that resulted in Taipei and Hargeisa establishing bilateral ties on July 1st, 2020 has enraged China. Ambassador Jian tweeted two days later, “Taiwan is China’s inherent territory. China exercised effective jurisdiction over Taiwan since the China’s Ming and Qing governments hundreds of years ago. Every inch of China’s territory can’t be discarded. If (sic) is not China’s territory, China doesn’t want an inch.”
A couple of days later, the Foreign Ministry followed up, “The Somali government has reaffirmed its commitment to the One-China Principle and condemned Taiwan’s act that has undermined Somali’s sovereignty & territorial integrity. We appreciate that. The Democratic Progressive Party’s separatist activities will never succeed.” They have secured the formal support of the government in Mogadishu.
But this hasn’t swayed the Somalilanders. President Abdi first had a brief meeting, cut short after Chinese demands on cutting ties with Taiwan, and followed on Friday with another with a delegation from FOCAC, the Chinese Africa Forum. The Chinese arrived with blandishments of the normal kind. Massive investment in the port of Berbera, the airport in Hargeisa. But alongside those carrots comes the inevitable stick.
Currently China has a naval base in Djibouti, a country whose debt obligations to the dragon are overwhelming. In late July, China and Somalia announced they would be conducting joint naval patrols in what they describe as ‘Somalian territorial waters’ on the Red Sea littoral – or in other words Somaliland waters. The carrot; let us build your port (and put you on massive” debt to us). The stick; we will throttle your waters and ability to trade independently. Again, President Abdi turned the Chinese away empty handed, except for positive words about, “agreed to strengthen mutual respect to each other”.
The President must be hoping that the USA’s commitment to Taiwan stretches to those who follow up the Taipei Act, or the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative which since March of this year commits the US to support those who support and recognise Taiwan.
China’s increased belligerence around the world, be it in the mountain fastnesses of the Himalayas where a low level shooting war is being conducted against India, in the China Sea and around Taiwan itself, to its ‘string of pearls’ initiative, of which the Somali naval patrols are part, where it plans to take physical control of the Indian Ocean is seeing diplomatic kick back. The UK has suspended its extradition Treaty with Hong Kong and is ripping up the expected 5G deal with Huawei. Australia’s ongoing economic symbiosis has not stopped it putting on diplomatic pressure and New Zealand and Canada are baring their teeth. India is going through its military and diplomatic gears. Even the EU is beginning to get cold feet over its enthusiasm for cheap Chinese money.
But Somaliland, a land of herdsmen, and a million poets, nobody has yet so directly turned their backs.
Indeed an African rarity.
On Thursday last week, there was a meeting held at the Presidential palace between the 3 political parties to formulate a united position with regards to China's requests. All the 3 political parties agreed on key points which the gov't presented to the Chinese delegation on Friday. The Chinese delegation accepted the position and an agreement was signed.
The Chinese have omitted mentioning the high level delegation that recently arrived in Hargeisa from their press release.
Our friends from Taiwan have picked this up.
From China's Foreign Ministry.
Ambassador Qin Jian in Somalia went to Somaliland to visit Chinese enterprises and citizens
From August 1 to 8, 2020, Ambassador Qin Jian in Somalia went to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Jushi Mining Company, steel structure manufacturing plant, beverage factory, etc. in Somaliland to give condolences to understand the work and life of Chinese enterprises and citizens during the epidemic To convey the concern about the situation, conduct research on the local business environment, and listen to relevant opinions and suggestions.
Ambassador Qin positively affirmed the role of the Chamber of Commerce in gathering overseas Chinese and encouraged them to continue to serve local Chinese companies and citizens.
In the production workshop of the company, Ambassador Qin asked about the company’s production and operation in detail, and positively affirmed the company’s hard work and entrepreneurship in Somaliland, encouraged everyone to abide by local laws, regulations and customs, produce and operate with integrity, actively contribute to the local society, and establish Good image of Chinese companies.
Ambassador Tan asked the Chamber of Commerce and enterprises to do a good job in safety and adhere to the prevention and control of the epidemic. He said that the embassy in Somalia will continue to provide support and services to enterprises and citizens, help enterprises achieve better development, promote civil friendship, and enhance friendship.
Absolutely. Taiwan's Foreign Minister recently commended Somaliland's handling of China's wolf-tactic diplomacy. He called on the world to recognise Somaliland's position that "Friendship and Sovereignty are not for sale".
Somaliland's ambassador to Taiwan who was invited to a state dinner that was held for Secretary Alex Azar while in Taipei recently has tweeted.
Which Way Somaliland: Taiwan or China?
"Somaliland is the middle of a tense courtship between China and Taiwan, leading to conflicting signals about which way the self-declared nation in the Horn of Africa is leaning. On the one hand, if you follow the Twitter accounts of Mohamed Hagi, the newly arrived ambassador to Taipei, and the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, you’d likely think this is a done deal and that the two governments are moving ahead with diplomatic recognition."
Read more at the China Africa Project.
Somaliland plays up its geopolitical role, courting China and Taiwan
In the span of a few short months in mid-2020, Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, played host to multiple diplomats from the region and beyond, as President Muse Bihi Abdi’s administration plays on diplomatic squabbles to leverage its position. Among them have been representatives from Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, China and Taiwan.
Each country sent representatives to try and win Hargeisa’s cause to its side of tiffs, in moves which point to an increasingly more adept administration in the breakaway region.
* Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent representatives to try and undo a growing relationship between Hargeisa and Cairo, which could see the two open representative offices in each other’s capitals and could give Cairo a military foothold in the Horn. Ethiopia and Egypt are at daggers drawn over the management of water from the Nile River.
* Kenya’s former prime minister and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, also sent representatives to Hargeisa, in what analysts view as another growing dispute between Nairobi and Mogadishu. Kenyan troops are in Somalia to fight against the threat of the Islamist militants of Al-Shabaab.
* Nairobi is particularly important to Somaliland’s cause after Kenya won a United Nations Security Council seat in a competition that revealed the broad lines of geopolitics in East Africa. Djibouti, the home of foreign military bases vital, received support from Somalia and other countries.
Attracting Asian attention
Globally, Somaliland’s growing relationship with Taiwan immediately attracted Beijing’s attention, as it would give Taipei a foothold in the Horn, as well as on the continent. eSwatini is the only state on the continent that currently recognises Taiwan.
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