Sao Tome and Principe: Political parties not represented in parliament call for diplomatic relations with China

1 April 2008

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 1 April – A group of political parties in Sao Tome and Principe Monday called for the normalisation of diplomatic relations with Beijing saying that China was “an undeniable commercial giant,” capable of helping the archipelago to achieve “sustainable national development.”

This economically-based policy was made public in the capital of Sao Tome, at a press conference held by the National Democratic Confederation (CND) of Sao Tome and Principe, a group made up of three political parties that are not represented in the country’s parliament.

Despite the break in diplomatic relations 10 years ago due to Sao Tome’s diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, CND’s spokesman, Hamilton Vaz, said that the start of cooperation with China would make it possible for the archipelago to re-launch its economy, as compared with the alleged disadvantages of trade operations with Euro zone European countries.

The People’s Republic of China decided in May 1997 to break off its 20-year diplomatic relations with Sao Tome and Principe due to the archipelago’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its national territory.

This policy of the CND comes two weeks after the Africa Monitor newsletter reported that the biggest Sao Tome opposition party, Movimento de Libertação de São Tomé e Príncipe – Partido Social Democrata, MLSTP-PSD, was also in favour of re-launching diplomatic relations between the two states.

Despite the absence of any government member in the delegation, Sao Tome and Principe will be present at the Beijing Olympic Games to be held next August. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH