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The Increasing Closeness Between China and Somalia Raises Questions for U.S.

Somali Foreign Minister Abisaid Muse Ali meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi opn the sidelines of the OIC in Pakistan. Image via @MinisterMOFA.

Somalia is emerging as a focus for China, following a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Somali counterpart Abisaid Muse Ali on the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation meeting in Pakistan on Tuesday. This closer alignment also has implications for the United States.

Accounts of Wang’s meeting say the two discussed development, security, and “territorial integrity.” The latter is probably code for China’s support for Somalia’s opposition to an independence campaign by Somaliland. The territory has forged links with Taiwan, fueling closer coordination between Beijing’s ‘One China’ policy and Mogadishu’s ‘One Somalia’ policy.

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