South Africa drops "ROC" for PRC

"NO" to Chinese neo-colonialism

Taipei, 1 January 1998

On 1 January 1998, South Africa dropped its diplomatic ties with the Kuomintang authorities and establishing official relations with the PRC.

The move follows by more than a year the 28 November 1996 announcement by South African president Nelson Mandela that he would switch relations at the end of 1997.

For some time after his May 1994 election as President of South Africa, Mr. Mandela had attempted to pursue a "dual recognition" policy of recognizing both the Kuomintang's "Republic of China" and the Communist "People's Republic of China."

However, this "two-China" policy was unacceptable to the Beijing regime, and finally Mr. Mandela gave in and decided to switch recognition.

In the context of establishing relations, South Africa and the PRC, on 30 December 1997 signed an accord, in which inter alia South Africa "recognizes" China's position that Taiwan is part of China.

We emphasize that this position is ludicrous: the PRC never had any sovereignty over Taiwan, not even for one minute, and any attempt to claim such sovereignty amounts to Chinese neo-Colonialism. We believe that Mr. Mandela would be one of the first to voice his opposition to such a policy.

It is also ironic that South Africa, which now has majority rule and is headed by a former political prisoner, has dropped an increasingly democratic Taiwan in favor of a repressive and totalitarian China, which still imprisons political dissenters.

While it is of course highly regrettable that South Africa is giving in to pressure by a dictatorial Communist regime, the break in relations is also due to the Kuomintang's stubborn clinging to its "Republic of China" title, and its outdated insistence to be part of the so-called "One China."

The Kuomintang would be wise to drop its anachronistic policies, and move towards a more realistic "One China, One Taiwan" policy, which recognizes the reality that Taiwan and China are two separate nations, which can live in peaceful coexistence next to eachother.

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