Sat, May 24, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Swazi adviser suggests links with PRC

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH AFP , MBABANE

A key adviser to the king of Swaziland suggested on Thursday that the southern African monarchy should consider building diplomatic relations with China.

Business advisor Ndumiso Mamba told the Swazi Observer that it was time to reassess the current set-up in which the kingdom recognizes Taipei and not Beijing.

“We should ask ourselves if we are doing the right thing. We should ask ourselves and find answers to the question of whether we are not swimming against the tide,” Mamba told the Observer.

Mamba was part of the Swazi delegation that attended the swearing in of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

“Let’s see if we cannot achieve some form of relations with mainland China without antagonizing other friendly parties,” he said, in reference to Taipei.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday dismissed Mamba’s comments, chalking it up as a “misunderstanding” on his part.

MOFA Spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) said Mamba had misinterpreted Ma’s inaugural speech.

“He thought that Taiwan was ready to unify with China and if so, Swaziland should quickly establish relations with Beijing,” Yeh said.

Yeh said Swazi Foreign Minister Mathendele Dalmini had expressed his country’s firm commitment to Taipei to Taiwan’s Ambassador to Swaziland Leonard Chao (趙麟).

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