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Eswatini receives Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen for a four day trip

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, left, with Eswatini's King Mswati III at the royal palace in Ludzidzini, Eswatini Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023.   -  
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Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday began a four-day trip to the African nation of Eswatini, one of her island's 13 remaining allies.

Tsai, who is serving her last year as president, is visiting the country of 1.1 million people in southern Africa and oversaw the signing of agreements that will set "the milestones for our future relationship," she said.

Since Tsai took office in 2016, China has started putting pressure on countries that have a diplomatic relationship with Taiwan to switch their formal recognition from Taiwan to China.

Beijing has successfully poached 9 countries, leaving Taiwan with just 13 countries that acknowledge its statehood.

Taiwan’s most recent diplomatic loss was Honduras, which switched recognition to Beijing in March.

Taiwan is a self-ruled island claimed by China.

The two sides have been at odds since 1949 when the Communist Party won in the civil war against the Nationalists.

Eswatini is an absolute monarchy, and most of the country's population live below the poverty line.

It was rocked by pro-democracy protests in 2021, but those protests were put down violently, per reports.

Tsai is expected to stay in the tiny landlocked kingdom until Thursday to mark the 55th anniversary of its independence, as well as 55 years of bilateral relations.

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