President of Taiwan, Dr Ing-Wen Tsai, is scheduled to visit the African diplomatic ally, the Kingdom of Eswatini, from September 5 to 8, 2023. This will be President Tsai’s second visit to the Kingdom after her first trip in April 2018.
In March 2023 Prime Minister of Eswatini, Cleopas Dlamini, and his wife led a delegation of officials to Taiwan. In that visit, President Ing-wen Tsai stressed that Taiwan and Eswatini jointly manufactured medical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. He (President Tsai Ing-wen) also alluded to areas such as trade and economy, public health, information and communications technology that cooperation was bolstering between Taiwan and Eswatini.
President Tsai’s first visit to Eswatini in April 2018 was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Eswatini and also felicitate King Mswati III of Eswatini on his 50th birthday. During her visit, President Tsai had discussions with the King on issues of mutual interest that could strengthen bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and Eswatini.
As a mark of reciprocity for President Tsai’s state visit to Eswatini in April 2018, King Mswati III of Eswatini also landed in Taiwan on a state visit in June 2018. The king was accompanied to Taiwan by his wife, children and officials of Eswatini.
The essence of President Tsai’s second forthcoming visit is to showcase the value Taiwan places on its partnership with its diplomatic ally, Eswatini, in sustainable development, economic and social advancement, education and public health improvement, as well as medical standards uplifting as a whole. This is so that the true meaning of equal partnership and mutual respect between nations would prevail, and mutually beneficial relations can flourish and grow in the long run.
Taiwan has long been regarded as a “force of good” by the international community. With the outstanding results from Taiwan’s assistance to the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Taiwanese style of offering what is best for our international partners in developing their countries has become most self-evident in Africa.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic alliance between Taiwan and the Kingdom of Eswatini, as well as celebrating the independence of this great kingdom. Fruitful and concrete development endeavours and cooperation in the kingdom have demonstrated how Taiwan cherishes its relationships with its allies. With various aspects of technical assistance covering medical, public health, agriculture, education, and vocational training, among others, Taiwan has not only expressed love from Taiwanese but also offered substantial and responsible support to the kingdom over several decades till now.
The Kingdom of Eswatini has always been a strong supporter of Taiwan’s sovereignty and participation in international affairs so that Taiwan’s democracy, and economic and technological development would be seen and valued by the world. This is true friendship of unwavering support to each other in the relations between Taiwan and Eswatini.
President Tsai’s visit to the Kingdom of Eswatini is a display of Taiwan’s goodwill and support to our African partners and friends; it will definitely strengthen Taiwan’s commitment to assisting African nations for a better future.
The visit also symbolises that no matter the existential challenges Taiwan faces in its struggles against oppression and no matter the geographical distance between Taiwan and Eswatini, true friendship will endure and true friends will value each other dearly with strong commitments to mutual support.
— Andy Liu is the Representative and Chief of Taiwan Mission in Nigeria