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China Uncharacteristically Muted Response to Taiwan President’s Trip to Eswatini

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrived in Eswatini on Tuesday for a three-day visit to mark the tiny landlocked country's 55th anniversary of its independence. The visit is symbolically important given that the southern African kingdom is Taiwan's last diplomatic ally on ...

eSwatini PM Visits Taiwan, Reaffirms Diplomatic Support

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed eSwatini Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini during an official visit to Taipei. The prime minister expressed the Kingdom's support for Taiwan's admission to the United Nations and criticized China's efforts to coerce the island through "any ...

eSwatini Could Soon Be in Play

Troops are out on the streets of the tiny southern African kingdom of eSwatini in an effort to quell anti-monarchy protests that look like they could precipitate the fall of King Mswati III. The precise whereabouts of the King are unknown at ...

China’s COVID Donations Go to 53, Not All 54 African Countries

Chinese diplomats and state-run media outlets used to highlight how COVID-19 donations were sent to all 54 African countries across the continent. Recently, though, both Xinhua and the likes of senior diplomat Wu Peng have ...

China Turns up the Pressure on Eswatini to Abandon Taiwan

The tiny landlocked kingdom of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is now the last country in Africa to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. This is a very big sticking point for the Chinese who are adamant about isolating Taiwan in Africa ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

Tweet of the Day: 2020 is Likely Going to be the Year When the Tiny Kingdom of eSwatini Becomes a Big International Relations Issue

eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is not a country that often registers as an important player in major global disputes but from the looks of it that may change in 2020. The Kingdom is now the last country in Africa that formally recognizes Taiwan and that has ...

China’s Pressure Campaign on eSwatini Highlights an Extreme Contrast in State Power

This month's report by journalist Carien Du Plessis in South Africa' Daily Maverick newspaper about heightened Chinese pressure on eSwatini, the last remaining country in Africa to recognize Taiwan, is ...