In a statement on social media, Somaliland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation condemned China’s military drills in the Taiwan Strait as breaking the status quo and that the Republic of Somaliland stands strong with Taiwan and fellow democracies.
The statement is a response to China’s latest tantrums in the form of a military exercise in the Taiwan Strait following Taiwanese President’s Tsai Ing-wen visit to the United States and meeting with US officials, including the Speaker of the House Representative Kevin McCarty.
In addition, a bipartisan congressional delegation visited Taiwan a day after Tsai and McCarty ignored China’s warning against such meetings. In late July 2022, the People’s Republic of China announced “live-fire exercises” in response to a visit by the former Speaker of the House Representative Nancy Pelosi to Taipei.
Although President Biden has explicitly stated that the United States will defend Taiwan, the United States has maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity with respect to defending Taiwan against Chinese invasion for several decades. And one key aspect of U.S. strategic ambiguity about Taiwan is its refusal to explicitly state whether it would come to Taiwan’s defense in the event of an armed conflict with China. The U.S. has deliberately kept its commitments vague, stating that it would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means of grave concern” and that its policy is “based on the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.” This ambiguity is meant to deter China from using force against Taiwan while also providing the U.S. with flexibility in responding to evolving circumstances.
Despite increasing rhetoric and military drills in response to Taiwan’s diplomatic moves, it is unclear if China’s calculus of taking Taiwan by force, with its limited expertise in the projection of power outside its borders, is tenable given the misfortunes of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.
The Chairman of the Opposition party of Waddani, Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdillahi “Cirro” and Presidential contender, has in the past questioned the value of picking Taiwan over China despite the fundamental incompatibility of the latter with Somaliland’s quest for international recognition.
Somaliland has rebuffed multiple attempt by Communist China to woo it away from Taiwan with promise of economic package and its own version of bilateral ties.
Somaliland and Taiwan established diplomatic relations in July 2020, with the signing of milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Taipei. The MOU established diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties between the two territories, including the exchange of ambassadors and the establishment of representative offices. The decision to establish diplomatic relations was based on their shared values of democracy, freedom, and the pursuit of self-determination, as well as their desire to expand international partnerships and cooperation.
Both China and Somalia have strongly condemned the establishment of bilateral ties between what they consider part of their respective countries and have reaffirmed each other’s unwavering support for the territorial integrity of One Somalia and One China.