The Somaliland government has refused to cut off exchanges with Taiwan amid pressure from the Chinese government. Last Wednesday, the two countries announced that they would be opening representative offices within each other’s borders.
Media reports say that the Chinese Ambassador to Somalia met with officials in Somaliland twice in an attempt to hamper ties between Somaliland and Taiwan.
Somaliland officials were told that if they ceased exchanges with Taiwan, then the Chinese government would establish a liaison office in Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa.
Somaliland’s president and foreign minister told Chinese diplomats that they welcomed cooperation with all countries, including China. However, they rejected Chinese demands that they sever ties with Taiwan.
The East African state of Somaliland declared independence in 1991 after a civil war in Somalia. Although it does not have official diplomatic ties with any country, it has 20 representative offices in countries around the world, and countries and organizations, including the EU, the UK and the UN, maintain offices in its capital.