In a statement the foreign minister of Somaliland said, Beijing will not be allowed to dictate who the country can have relations with; Somaliland is a sovereign nation and “born free”.
Somaliland’s Foreign Minister Essa Kayd made the comments during a trip to Taiwan.
In 1991, Somaliland broke away from Somalia. Since then while Somaliland has largely been peaceful, Somalia has been grappled with three decades of civil war.
In 2020, both countries set up their representative offices in each other’s capitals.
Situated on the Horn of Africa, Somaliland’s geographic position is of strategic importance since it borders Djibouti, where China maintains its first ever overseas military base.
In signs that underscores China’s weakness in unable to force the situation to its liking, China’s Foreign Ministry accused Taiwan of “fanning the flames to undermine the independence and unification of other countries, harming others without benefiting themselves” by hosting a senior ministerial delegation from Somaliland.
Somaliland Foreign Minister Essa Kayd made it lucidly clear that China cannot dictate to his country.
“We were born free and we will stay free. We will run our business the way we want. China cannot dictate, no other country can dictate,” said Kayd.
He went on to add, they are open to dealing with anyone who respected them as a sovereign country and wanted to do business without any strings or conditions.
“I think that’s as clear as I can go on China.”
China has tried to ramp up pressure on countries to not to engage with Taiwan as it tries to pressure the democratic country to come under its sovereignty claims.