Malawi President regrets the link with chinaThe Liberty Times reports (馬拉威 後悔與台灣斷交) that Malawi, the African country that switched her diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in December, 2007 after 42 years of Taiwan-Malawi relationship, realizes that they have made a big mistake.
Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi, expressed regrets for the diplomatic switch that he made, saying that the help from China is far less than that Taiwan provided before.
After only a little more than a year of formal diplomatic link with China, complaints are built up in Malawi. The 60,000 million (US dollars) aids that China promised at the time of diplomatic negotiation is just a lip service, and there is no sign that China would fulfill their promise in the future. China has no intention to finish the half-done projects that Taiwan had helped started, not to mention to increase the project aids.
Mutharika is not happy with China's empty promises. It is no where near the expectation at the time of establishing the diplomatic link. He is regretful for cutting the diplomatic link with Taiwan, and blames himself for failing the Malawians.
His decision of switching from Taiwan to China shows not only a betrayal of 42-year good relationship, but also the timing -- about 3 months before Taiwan's presidential election -- has made Malawi a political tool of China.
Ironically, President Mutharika used to admire Taiwan so much that in 2005 he broke away from his party United Diplomatic Front, established a party of his own and named it DPP -- after the major Taiwanese political party, Democratic Progressive Party.
Ma government gives up a potential diplomatic linkTaiwan's oversea diplomatic source quickly reported this info back to Ma's government. Supposedly a once-in-a-life-time chance to build up a formal relationship without the need of much effort, Ma government simply trashes it. Government officials make it clear that they will reject the request of rebuilding a diplomatic link with Malawi, if Malawi does make such an attempt. Such a "cut all international relationship" diplomatic strategy is, according to the official, based on Ma Ying-jeou's beautifully named foreign policy "diplomatic truce", a policy of "giving up Taiwan sovereignty on all diplomatic fronts to please China" in reality.
Ma Ying-jeou's surrendering attitude toward China is obviously taken by China as a leverage that makes it much more difficult for Malawi - and any other country for that matter - to maintain a real beneficial relationship with China:
China is maintaining a high attitude, "If Malawi is not satisfied (with the way China treats them), then go ahead to break the diplomatic link. Even they do so, Taiwan will not take them."
The fact is that Ma Ying-jeou's giving up on all diplomatic fronts has not only sacrificed Taiwan's sovereignty, but also hurts the national benefits of those countries Taiwan used to befriend with.
As a result, China is the only winner in this game. Is that what Ma Ying-jeou intended ?
Some links in the past:
- Some insightful articles by Michael Turton.
- 1/15/08 Taipei Times: Malawi, Taiwan end 42-year relations
- 1/16/08 Taipei Times: Minister berates Malawi for `cheating and lying'