By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane
MASERU – Lesotho has recently pronounced her position and commitment to the “One-China-Principle”. This follows the recent elections held in Taiwan.
On January 13, this year, Taiwan held presidential elections and the Democratic Progressive Party’s Lai Ching-te became that country’s next President.
Effectively this means that Lesotho recognizes the People’s Republic of China over Taiwan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations shared these developments last week, and were happily received by the Chinese Embassy.
“The Kingdom of Lesotho is firmly committed to the “One-China-Principle” which remains the foundation of the Lesotho-China bilateral relationship. The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho reaffirms the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government representing the whole China, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory.
“Lesotho upholds China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and will not develop any form of official relations with Taiwan, and consequently supports all efforts made by China to achieve national reunification of all its territories,” reads the statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations.
Taking to X formerly Twitter, the Chinese Embassy applauded Lesotho on this move saying “we appreciate highly the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho for its reaffirmation of its position on the one-China principle and support all efforts by China to achieve national reunification”.
Meanwhile, both China and Taiwan are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Successive Chinese governments have exercised jurisdiction over Taiwan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Taiwan said it’s “Responsibility for all of this lies with Beijing. Taiwan urges the Beijing authorities to renounce confrontation, return to the international order, and pursue joint endeavors with Taiwan and all members of the region that benefit all parties and create win-win situations.”
Taiwan reportedly ended its martial law in 1987 and first held the democratic presidential elections in 1996. It is also practicing democracy as a form of government.
Taiwan is separated from the China mainland and China regards it as its largest island which forms part of the whole mainland.
On October 25, 1971 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly passed the resolution termed UN Resolution 2758 (XXVI) which stated that the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government of China. This resolution replaced the Republic of China (ROC) with the present People’s Republic of China (PRC) which is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
While China is the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Taiwan on the other hand calls itself the Republic of China (ROC).
The ROC government reportedly relocated to Taiwan in 1949 during a civil war with the Chinese Communist Party.
Lesotho-PRC diplomatic relations were established in April 1983. Since then Lesotho has enjoyed both financial and technical assistance from this Asian country.
Some of the projects which were built by PRC include ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre, National Assembly building, State Library and the ongoing Maseru Hospital and Eye Care Clinic that is scheduled for completion at the end of March this year.