The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday refuted a Malawian media report that the African nation will sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan to establish official relations with China.
According to Malawi newspaper "Nyasa Times" in a report dated December 22, the Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has sanctioned severing diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of the China.
The report quoted sources from the Malawi cabinet, who disclosed that two senior cabinet ministers, Minister of Presidential and Parliamentary Affairs Davis Katsonga and Minister of Energy and Mining Henry Chimunthu Banda, accompanied by two senor officials from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, are planning to fly to Beijing on December 24 via Bangkok to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which will to pave way for the establishment of diplomatic missions between the two countries.
In reaction to the report, MOFA spokesperson Phoebe Yeh said that her ministry was aware of the report but said that Malawi officials have denied that the African nation will sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Yeh said, however, the MOFA had indeed learned from sources that the Chinese government had intended to send an "astronomical figure" to Malawi in attempting to draw the country to establish diplomatic die with Beijing.
Yeh added that Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Tzu-pao was currently in Malawi to communicate with his Malawian counterparts to better understand the political situation in the country and to make sure diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Malawi will remain stable.
The Republic of Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, is a country in southeastern Africa which had established official diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1966.
Foreign Minister James Huang was previously invited to the nation in July to join its 42nd Independence Day Celebration, a move which showed that the two countries were in good relations then.
Taiwan has diplomatic ties with a total of 24 countries worldwide, mostly in Central America and Africa.