MBABANE- The real war between the Mainland China and Republic of Taiwan has not yet started, but the textile sector seems to be already suffering the consequences between the two countries.
The Secretary General of Amalgamated Trade Union of Swaziland (ATUSWA) Wander Mkhonza, highlighted that many workers have already been retrenched and some were being laid-off in the textile sector, since the textile group of companies are co-owned by Chinese from both the two countries who are at logger heads at the moment.
Mkhonza said in as much as the textile sector was already suffering from the tension between the two Chinese countries, the textile sector would suffer more, should it happen that both countries go to war.
‘’ The tension between the country (Mainland China) and its region (Taiwan) are already existing in the textile industry, and the impact is felt amongst textile employees. We understand that the region wants to be an independent country on its own, but not in our expense as a country’’ he said.
The secretary general urged the government be patient and wait for the situation to unfold and take no sides. However, that seems to be impossible since the kingdom of Eswatini has bilateral relationship with the Republic of Taiwan which seems determined to maintain it at all costs. Many world countries sided with the mainland China in their slogan of ‘one China policy’ where they were advocating that world countries should not recognise the Republic of Taiwan as a country but as a region. This slogan was being initiated by the United Nations (UN) declaration which states that Taiwan form part of mainland China.
“Though there are benefits we get from our mutual relationship with the region (Taiwan), but I think if Eswatini can side with mainland China, there will be more benefits than we are currently getting from Taiwan. As a small country, it is unwise to be in a relationship that is not beneficiary to us, but we must opt to relationship with countries that have potential to liberate us from poverty. We should shy away from the relationships that only benefit those in power,’’ he said.
In the meantime the country has suffered a lot from the Russia-Ukraine war especially on the agricultural sector. The prices of fertilizers increased uncontrollable thus giving local farmers who would not afford fertilisers no option but to boycott farming this year.
On the other note, the mainland China seems determined to stop the Republic of Taiwan from being recognised as an independent state. In couple of weeks ago the mainland China blocked the seaports with their ships and aircrafts which was a sign of waging a war to the Republic of Taiwan.
The President of Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) Sakhile ‘Awviva’ Nxumalo, said the tension between the mainland China and Republic of Taiwan would drastically change the political landscape of the country, and it would have a positive impact to the mass democratic movement.
He highlighted that the government has been enjoying a lot of benefits from the Republic of Taiwan for quite some time, which might come to an end should it happen that the war takes place. Eswatini had been supported by the Republic of Taiwan in many sectors including; the security sector, health sector, and many more.
“Politically these changes will be of good advantage to us (mass democratic movement), as it will help in the advancement of the struggle. As democratic movement, we also don’t recognised the Republic of Taiwan as a country but as a region from Mainland China,’’ he insisted.
He highted that it was unfortunate that young Emaswati will be forced to abandon their education and come back to face poverty in the country. The great Nelson Mandela’s famous quotes says education is the great weapon to conquer the world.
“Economically, the local people are not benefiting from the relationship of the government with the Republic of Taiwan, instead it was only benefiting the top officials of the government,’’ he said.
The Economists Thembinkosi Dube, when reached for comment, asked not to comment on the matter because he was not aware of it.
Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo, when sought for comments, he referred the questions to a lady identified as Dumsile from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade.
Effort to get Dumsile proved futile as she had not responded to a questionnaire sent to her by the Independent News desk when the report was compiled.
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