Taipei courting Ghana for diplomatic ties despite denial of claims

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30th March 2023 – (Taipei) Taipei is reportedly seeking to establish diplomatic ties with Ghana, as the African nation seeks international assistance to restructure its debts with China. An anonymous whistleblower with alleged connections to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) revealed that the government dispatched Director Chang Chun-yu to Lagos, Nigeria, in 2022, with the additional directive of establishing contact with government officials in Ghana.

MOFA denied the claims, calling them “completely fictitious” and accusing the whistleblower of spreading “malicious rumours” that would be echoed by pro-China media to defame Taiwan. However, the whistleblower alleged that Taiwan paid a fee of US$20 million to start talks about establishing diplomatic relations with Accra, the Ghanaian capital.

MOFA denied stationing two high-level ministers at a trade office in Nigeria for an extended period. It accused the whistleblower of spreading false information that could damage Taiwan’s reputation. However, the allegations raise concerns about Taiwan’s diplomatic relations and its ability to compete with China for economic and diplomatic influence across the mineral-rich continent.

Ghana’s diplomatic ties with China have been strained in recent years, with reports of public dissatisfaction with China’s economic activity in the region and its exploitation of Ghana’s natural resources. Vice-President Kamala Harris visited Ghana to pledge security and economic assistance and balance U.S. power vis-a-vis China.

Despite MOFA’s denial of the claims, the allegations underscore the challenges that Taiwan faces in competing with China for diplomatic recognition and economic influence. Taiwan has lost several diplomatic allies to China, which has poached countries with the promise of financial aid and investments.