9 February 2018

South Africa: China Reacts With Fury to Tibetan Leader's Visit to South Africa

analysis

A diplomatic row has erupted between South Africa and one of its closest allies, China, over Pretoria allowing the exiled president of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, into the country. The Chinese embassy in Pretoria on Thursday strongly protested to the South African government about the visit of the exiled president of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, which it said had "undermined the political trust between China and South Africa" and would discourage Chinese investment.

In an unusually strongly worded statement, the embassy said Sangay's visit had run against the South African government's "long-standing commitment to the One China policy".

"It has sent a wrong political signal to the world community, and has undermined the political mutual trust between China and South Africa. It runs against the common interest of SA-China relations, and will undoubtedly discourage Chinese investors' confidence in South Africa, undermine SA's efforts for poverty reduction, and cause grave harm for the interest of South Africa and the South African people."

The South African government is evidently furious at the Chinese embassy's statement, but has not yet reacted officially. Privately officials are incensed that a "strategic partner" could use such threatening...

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