National 28.12.2016 05:09 am

Msimanga’s Taiwan trip causes a diplomatic stir

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The Tshwane mayor was the guest of Taiwan’s capital, although the SA government does not recognise the country as separate from China.

The department of international relations and cooperation (Dirco) spokesperson, Clayson Monyela has expressed his diplomatic concerns to the office of the City of Tshwane in connection with executive mayor Solly Msimanga’s recent visit to Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei.

Monyela called the mayor’s office to express his concerns on whether Msimanga was contradicting the South African position on the “One China Policy”. He added that this particular visit of the mayor was “not sanctioned by the South African government”.

“The executive mayor knows our views and was advised against undertaking this trip. The South African government respects the One China Policy,” Monyela said.

The One China Policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called China, despite the existence of two governments laying claim to that area.

Msimanga travelled to Taiwan on Monday morning.

Tshwane executive mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi said he did not know if Msimanga was travelling with his family or if he was alone.

He said party politics must be transcended by the need to create opportunities and that suggestions that the mayor was contradicting the South African position on the One China Policy by travelling to Taipei to honour an invitation by the mayor of that city were “short-sighted and misrepresented”.

“The mayor has elected to take time out of his personal leave to honour an invitation from the mayor of Taipei to explore possible investment opportunities,” Mgobozi said.

He said the trip was at no cost to the City of Tshwane despite what the African National Congress government suggested.

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