China picks on tiny Eswatini

eswatini location

Eswatini is the tiny landlocked African country formerly known as Swaziland, with a population of just over a million. It is the only country left in Africa that maintains diplomatic ties with Taiwan rather than the People’s Republic of China. That displeases Beijing immensely.

From South Africa’s Daily Maverick:

China is threatening to “cripple” Eswatini business and economic development should it not switch allegiance from Taiwan to China immediately. In a strongly worded and threatening seven-page statement, China’s ambassador to Pretoria, Lín Sōngtiān 林松添, said “no diplomatic relations, no more business benefits.”

He also implied that other African countries could be pressured to shun Eswatini at the African Union — set to have its heads of state summit next weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. South Africa will be chairing the AU this year.

See also the response from Taiwan.

—Jeremy Goldkorn