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Taiwan – Eswatini: Is their diplomatic relationship coming to an end?

Eric Olander
By Eric Olander

Managing Editor, The China Africa Project

Posted on Friday, 9 July 2021 13:41

King Mswati III of Eswatini addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday, 26 Sept. 2018, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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 this time, with reports indicating that he fled to Johannesburg. But Acting Prime Minister Themba Masuku denied those allegations:  “His Majesty the King is still in the country and continues to lead in working with Government to advance the Kingdom’s goals.”

If the Palace falls, the geopolitical ramifications could be significant. Eswatini is the last remaining African country that maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, largely based on King Mswati’s longstanding personal relationships with leaders in Taipei.