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Somaliland and Taiwan governments have shown their appreciation of the United States’ support of their new diplomatic relationship.

The White House National Security Council (NSC) on Friday tweeted support for the recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Somaliland.

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“Great to see Taiwan stepping up its engagement in East Africa in a time of such tremendous need,” the NSC tweet said. “Taiwan is a great partner in health, education, technical assistance, and more!”

According to the White House website “The NSC is the President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. The Council also serves as the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies among various government agencies.”

In response to the support accorded the country’s new diplomatic relations with Taiwan by the US  National Security Council, the Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted the government’s appreciation.

“We appreciate @WHNSC support of the new relationship of Somaliland-Taiwan. Somaliland and the U.S. share many of the same values and interests. We both represent beacons of peace, democracy, and free markets. We both share also many of the same close allies.” This was tweeted by the ministry’s official Twitter account @somalilandmfa on Friday, July 10, 2020.

On the other hand, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affair posted its official account on twitter a message of appreciation to the White House.

“We sincerely appreciate @WHNSC recognizing #Taiwan as a proven partner in prosperity & the many areas in which #TaiwanCanHelp. The country is a good global citizen committed to advancing sustainable development in East #Africa & around the world,” @MOFA_Taiwan posted on twitter on July 10, 2020.

Reports of the relationship between Hargeisa and Taipei have been cast in the shadows of the wider U.S. – China rift and overall influence in Africa, especially under the Trump administration.

Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Minister Joseph Wu announced at a press conference on July 1 that Taiwan and Somaliland had reached an agreement on the establishment of representative offices based on “bilateral friendship and a shared commitment to common values of freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law.”

Taiwan on July 3, appointed Ambassador Lou Chen-Hwa, as the head of Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland. On the other hand, Ambassador Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud is set to head Somaliland’s representative office in Taipei.

China has expressly condemned the diplomatic overtures with its envoy in Somalia meeting with President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmajo in the wake of Taiwan – Somaliland relations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday (July 6) at a daily press briefing that China maintained ties with Somalia and accused Taiwan of “undermining Somali sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Zhao added, “China firmly opposes the establishment of official institutions or any form of official exchange between the Taiwan authorities and Somaliland.”

In response, MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou said that Taiwan is willing to develop cooperative relations with any country that pursues democracy and peace. She also called on China to refrain from making irresponsible remarks.

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