Sun, Nov 17, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Analysts see China behind Gambia loss

‘NATIONAL STRATEGIC INTERESTS’:Analysts said the Gambia was looking to China to lessen its reliance on the West. Taiwan is sending a delegation to try to salvage ties

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Given what Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei (洪磊) said on Friday, there is no evidence it was arranged by China, Huang said.

It could be that the Gambia “unilaterally” calculated what it could earn from China in the future in return for its initiative to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Huang said.

“After all, Gambia can develop its relations with all other countries in the world [except China] while remaining an ally of Taiwan,” he said.

To salvage ties with the Gambia, Richard Shih (石瑞琦), the ambassador to Banjul from 2008 to 2011, was sent to the Gambia by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to conduct “more direct and frank” communication with Jammeh to avoid misunderstandings, the ministry said yesterday.

Leading a delegation composed of technical personnel who have become close with Jammeh in cooperation projects, Shih, director of the ministry’s Department of Protocol, was scheduled to arrive in Banjul yesterday evening.

Local media in the Gambia reported that Jammeh is heading to Kuwait tomorrow for a state visit and to attend the Arab-African summit.

The ministry said it hoped that Shih and Ambassador to the Gambia Samuel Chen (陳士良) could sit down with Jammeh before his departure to Kuwait.

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