4 September 2017

Liberia Returns to Taiwan-Under George Weah-Led Government Featured

As the political campaign heats up with few weeks remaining to the holding of arguably Liberia's most important post-war elections, reports within diplomatic sources indicate that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) is leaving no stone unturned in capturing state power - even if it means breaching international protocols.

According to well-placed diplomatic sources that spoke with this paper on express conditions of anonymity, Senator George Weah, leader of the CDC ticket which features the wife of former President Taylor Jewel Howard-Taylor as standard bearer, is in serious negotiations with Taiwan to ramp support for the Coalition in return for a CDC government to officially recognized Taiwan.

The CDC deal to garner financial support from Taiwan is reportedly being cushioned by Madam Jewel Howard Taylor who once served as focal person of President Charles Taylor's despotic regime. Under her aegis, Jewel Taylor oversaw the release of US$2 million from Taiwan for renovation of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, but the funds were later unaccounted for, leading to President Taylor replacement of her by Belle Dunbar.

Pundits are of the opinion that with such deal reportedly in the works, Liberia's diplomatic gains could regress far beyond the war years when President Taylor in 1997 proclaimed a "two Chinas" policy by recognizing both the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC-Taiwan).

The move led to overly strained relations between Liberia and mainland China, culminating in the PRC finally breaking diplomatic relations with Liberia. It can be recalled, the PRC broke relations with Liberia on October 10, 1989 after President Samuel Doe's government officially recognized Taiwan because it had offered Liberia US$200 million in aid for education and infrastructure. It was only in 1993 that the ROC opened an embassy in Monrovia, making Liberia one of the few nations which established diplomatic ties to both the PRC and ROC.

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