Taiwan and Somaliland are both de facto independent democratic states claimed by larger countries, but struggling for broad diplomatic recognition.
Ties between Somaliland and Taiwan have blossomed in recent years. Each is a de facto independent state and mostly democratic, but claimed by a larger neighboring country. Although Somaliland has enjoyed considerable autonomy from Somalia, the East African nation that officially regards it as a northern province, it unofficially conducts much of its own foreign relations and has attracted foreign investment, including from Taiwan, separately from the rest of Somalia. The two quasi-nations opened “representation offices,” which essentially function as embassies, in each other’s capitals in 2020.
“Somaliland is a sovereign country,” the foreign minister said. “We were born free, we will stay free, and we will own our business the way we want it. China cannot dictate. Other countries cannot dictate.”
Kayd did not rule out commercial interactions with Beijing, but insisted that any trade partners “respect our integrity as a sovereign country.” He also said Somaliland is “open to everybody … who come and want to do business with us, without any strings or conditions.”
Somalia has also criticized the growing Taiwan-Somaliland ties, accusing Taipei of engaging in a “reckless attempt” to undermine its sovereignty over the north.
By Trevor Filseth
Trevor Filseth is a current and foreign affairs writer for the National Interest.
The National Interest