The Government of Liberia (GoL) has been alerted about two separate letters, dated August 19, 2016, signed by the former Speaker of the erstwhile Transitional Legislative Assembly, Mr. George S. Dweh, to authorities of the Republic of Taiwan suggesting bilateral discussions for the establishment of an economic trade link with the Government of Liberia.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Mr. Dweh is a former government official, who is not an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor has he had any official relations with the Ministry, neither is he an envoy of the President of Liberia.
The government wishes to make it clear that Mr. Dweh has never, at any time, held meetings with any official of the Ministry on any matter relating to the Republic of Taiwan.
The Government of Liberia takes this matter very seriously and, because of the gravity, has alerted the relevant security agencies to investigate the matter in order to avert a diplomatic faux pas with the friendly Government of the People’s Republic of China as well as to determine his motivation for this dubious overture.
The Government of Liberia reaffirms its commitment to the “One China Policy” and its support to China’s concept of “one country, two systems” and every effort by the Chinese Government to achieve national reunification.
Meanwhile, Dweh’s letters also informed the Taiwanese authorities of his ability to influence Liberian government officials and even suggested support for the opposition. One of the letters addressed to Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan, made reference to a letter he received following another he wrote on
August 12, 2016 about the establishment of a trade mission in Liberia. The Taiwanese government sent a letter through the Liberian Embassy near Abuja, Nigeria, to the Government of Liberia, requesting for the establishment of a trade mission in the country.
“What I am clearly indicating or driving at is that Taipei should not be intimidated by the presence of China’s diplomatic tie with Liberia or other West African states (so that) Taiwan will achieve her trade mission objective,” Dweh wrote.
He also encouraged Taiwan to put in place a mechanism that will touch the lives of Africans on trade and economic bases by opening her business doors for Liberians to purchase quality but affordable goods of all kinds and also arrange a visa free program for Liberian businesses and citizens to have easy access to enter Taiwan.”
He told the Taiwanese authorities that Liberia needs a country that will help her citizens after the 15 years of devastating civil war to improve the livelihood of the people.
“We have the confidence and trust in Taiwan’s ability and capability on some of the goods and services that we have seen in Ghanaian and Nigerian markets and that’s why it will be very much important to consider her (Taiwan’s) trade mission to Liberia…”, Dweh wrote.
In another letter dated August 19 and addressed to the Taiwanese head of mission in Abuja, Nigeria, Dweh wrote that there was the possibility for the Trade Mission to be established in Liberia, “because of my influence and contact both at the Liberian parliament and within the Executive as a former speaker of the House of Representatives…”
The letter recommends to the Taiwanese to consider making investments in agriculture, mining and transportation and developing a strategy for its citizens or investors to travel to Liberia as well as Africa in general to do business in the three areas mentioned.
When contacted, a spokesman for former Speaker Dweh told the Daily Observer that the accession of Liberia to the World Trade Organization has opened the way for member countries to do business with Liberia. He, however, said while trade missions are established by private individuals, it must meet the approval of the government; and so after Liberia’s accession to the WTO, Taiwan, which is a member of that body, sent a letter to do business with Liberia that is presently with the Ministry of State, with copies to the department of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.