Taiwan president visiting Eswatini, eager to expand ties with Africa

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is visiting the Kingdom of Eswatini, the only African country that maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and expressed her eagerness to expand ties with the continent.

Tsai is in Eswatini to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the country's independence.

On Tuesday, she met Eswatini's King Mswati III and oversaw the signing of three cooperative documents, including a memorandum on support for female entrepreneurs.

The Taiwanese presidential office says the king thanked Taiwan's support for Eswatini and vowed to continue efforts to have Taiwan join all UN bodies.

Tsai later attended a gathering of Taiwanese from across Africa.

She pledged to steadily implement "Project Africa" to help facilitate the work of Taiwanese in Africa.

She added the next time Taiwan's president visits Africa, countries other than Eswatini could be on the itinerary.

"Project Africa" aims to deepen cooperation between Taiwan and African nations in various fields. It was launched by Tsai after her previous visit to Eswatini five years ago.

Taiwan is trying to counter China's growing influence in Africa. Taiwan has opened a representative office in Somaliland, which unilaterally declared independence from Somalia.