Somaliland opens rep office in Taiwan, snubbing China, Somalia
The breakaway East African territory of Somaliland has opened a representative office in Taiwan, snubbing both Somalia and China.
The office was opened during a ceremony in Taipei on Wednesday.
“We are happy to make relations with Taiwan and other countries, to build economic relations,” Somaliland’s representative Mohamed Hagi said, claiming, “There is not any threat to China.”
The development came after Taiwan opened an office in Somaliland’s Hargeisa last month.
The two territories of Taiwan and Somaliland — unrecognized as sovereign countries by much of the world — have been attempting to expand relations in recent years, finding common ground in their isolated international standing.
China has sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan. Nearly all world countries recognize that sovereignty under a policy known as “One China.”
Somaliland, meanwhile, claimed independence from Somalia during the impoverished nation’s civil war in 1991. While some countries maintain informal relations with the self-declared government in Hargeisa, it is not diplomatically recognized by most other countries.
In reaction to the Wednesday development, Mogadishu called it a “reckless attempt” to infringe on its sovereignty, while Beijing accused Taipei of separatism and acting with “desperation.”