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In the wake of China’s recent expressions of displeasure over Somaliland’s growing ties with Taiwan, the Taiwan Representative Office in the Republic of Somaliland issued a resolute statement reaffirming its commitment to democratic values and its support for Somaliland’s pursuit of recognition and stability.

The statement, released amid China’s objections to Somaliland’s attendance at the inauguration celebration of Taiwan’s 16th-term President Lai Ching-te, emphasized Taiwan’s dedication to using its democratic vitality as a force for good both domestically and internationally. It underscored Taiwan’s intention to deepen its cooperation with nations like Somaliland that share its commitment to democracy.

Highlighting the belief that democratization is the optimal solution for Somaliland’s quest for recognition and stability, Taiwan pledged solidarity with Somaliland and like-minded partners in supporting its democratization efforts. Taiwan reiterated its stance that Somaliland has the right to be recognized as a democratic, stable, and free nation in the Horn of Africa region.

The statement also directly challenged the “One-China Principle” and the “One-Somalia Principle,” labeling them as distorted clichés that do not reflect the realities on the ground. It emphasized that Taiwan and Somaliland are not subordinate to China and Somalia, respectively, and that their sovereignty should be respected accordingly.

President Lai Ching-te, in his inaugural address, made it clear that Taiwan and China are not subordinate to each other, echoing sentiments expressed by Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi regarding Somaliland’s distinct identity from Somalia. These statements reinforced the notion that both Taiwan and Somaliland stand firm in their autonomy and reject external pressure to conform to outdated geopolitical paradigms.

During the meeting with the Somaliland delegation, President Lai referenced Taiwan’s “Project Africa” initiative, signaling Taiwan’s enduring goodwill and commitment to collaboration with Somaliland and other African nations. The statement concluded with an optimistic outlook, suggesting that through mutual cooperation, Taiwan, Somaliland, and other nations could prosper together.

Taiwan’s steadfast response serves as a testament to its unwavering support for democracy and its willingness to stand up to external pressures. In the face of China’s objections, Taiwan remains a beacon of hope and support for nations like Somaliland, advocating for their right to self-determination and recognition on the global stage.

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