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Lin Songtian, China’s Brash Former Ambassador to South Africa Suddenly Returns Home

China’s most outspoken ambassador in Africa, Lin Songtian, abruptly left his post in South Africa yesterday just a few days after news had broke that he had been ordered back to China.

Lin published a farewell letter on Monday in the South African newspaper Independent he reflected on his two and half years in Pretoria but didn’t provide any insights as to what he will be doing next. All he said was that he “will assume a new post for a new chapter.

It’s still not entirely clear if Lin had been recalled under duress or if he is being re-assigned to a new, higher-profile position within the China Foreign Ministry. 

Word first emerged late last week that Lin would soon be leaving. Journalist Peter Fabricius broke the story on the Daily Maverick website late Thursday and a second story came out the following day written by Caries du Plessis.

Carien joins Eric & Cobus to discuss Lin’s controversial legacy in South Africa and what might be next for one of China’s most brash, charismatic diplomats.

Show Notes:

About Carien du Plessis:

Carien du Plessis spent her student days at political rallies in South Africa right through the country’s first democratic elections in 1994. Then, after an extended working holiday in London, Carien started working for newspapers full-time in 2003. She’s pretty much had her share of reporting on South African politics, attending gatherings and attracting trolls, but still finds herself attracted to it like a moth to a veld fire. Her ultimate ambition in life is to become a traveling chocolate writer of international fame.

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