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File photo / A handout photo made available by Taiwan's Presidential Office shows Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (L) and Ingwenyama Mswati III (R), king of Swaziland, during a meeting in Mbabane, Swaziland, Apr 17, 2018 (released Apr 18 2018).
King Mswati III of Eswatini has landed in Taiwan on a state visit.This is the king’s first visit to that country after Eswatini assumed the status of being the only African country with bilateral relations with Taiwan.
The king is in the company of his second wife Inkhosikati LaMotsa, some of his children and officials.
“The king has landed in Taiwan where he was met by Taiwanese Ambassador to Eswatini Thomas Chan, cabinet ministers Jabulile Mashwama, Mgwagwa Gamedze and Jabulani Mabuza who were all part of an advance delegation,” read a government statement.
The ministers are for Natural Resources and Energy, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Tourism and Environmental Affairs.
It was not mentioned for how long the king will be staying in Taiwan.
It would be recalled that APA reported earlier this week that the Kingdom of Eswatini has declared that it will maintain its diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite being the only African country having relations with it.
Eswatini government spokesperson Percy Simelane said: “The country will maintain its diplomatic relations with Taiwan despite mainland China pressure on us to server our ties with Taiwan.
“There is no change of heart or position on our ties with Taiwan. Whosoever spreads rumours that we will ditch Taiwan can be referred to as a fake news peddler,” the government mouthpiece said in an interview.
A Chinese newspaper, NewsAsia, had reported that a Chinese government top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, had urged eSwatini to follow suit after Burkina Faso which recently cut relations with Taiwan.
The Chinese official was reportedly speaking at a press conference in Beijing, where a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry Hua Chunying was present.
“We of course welcome Swaziland (eSwatini) to join the family of China-Africa cooperation at an early date, and hope that by the time the China-Africa cooperation forum or Beijing summit happens, we can have a happy picture of the whole family,” she was quoted as saying.Source: APA
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