Taiwan says China tries to lure away Africa ally, Malawi

Taiwan on Monday said rival China was trying to lure its African ally Malawi away with lots of money as the two continue their battle for international recognition over who is the island's rightful government.

Taiwan says China tries to lure away Africa ally, Malawi
Local newspapers said two Malawi ministers plan to soon travel to Beijing where they would sign a memorandum of understanding that would pave the way for the establishment of full diplomatic ties.

'If the two Malawi ministers indeed travel to Beijing as reported, then it could be an indicator' of Malawi setting up ties with China, Phoebe Yeh said.

'But we are doing our best to stop that from happening,' she said, adding that Malawi's ambassador in Taipei, Thengo Maloya, and his government had assured the island that 'bilateral ties remain unchanged.'

Yeh accused Beijing of 'chequebook diplomacy,' saying the ministry had information that 'China may offer a huge amount of money to lure away Malawi.'

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after a civil war. Since then, each has vied for international recognition to be accepted as the rightful government of the island—which Beijing regards as part of the mainland awaiting reunification.

Africa is one of the main diplomatic battlegrounds for the cross-strait rivals, with each accusing the other of stealing away allies with 'chequebook diplomacy.'

Only 24 countries now recognise Taipei instead of Beijing.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Aralık 2007, 18:24
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