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The rise and rise of ‘President’ Masisi

In less than a decade Mokgweetsi Masisi's political star kept on shining brighter if not the brightest in sub-Saharan African political landscape. This feature looks at how a political novice's own political machinations and providence catapulted him to the pinnacle of Botswana's political system.

It is no longer in doubt that His Honour, Vice President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi is one foot into the highest office on the land.  April Fool’s Day Sunday 2018 will crystallize this dream into reality when he takes oath of office before the parliamentary building. What is in question is how an erstwhile political lightweight in less than a decade ago in Botswana political landscape and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has managed to have a meteoritic rise and an exponential political growth to grab power in front of the politically anointed altar boys and the BDP high Priests. Masisi played his cards close to his chest and the proverbial Indian Karma was also in abundance in time of his need. Masisi is a political Machiavellian whose some of his political tactics can be derived from the famous book; The art of war and 48 laws of power.

Before 2009 Masisi’s only claim to political fame was his losing to the late Moshupa legislator Mr. Maitlhoko Mooka in the BDP primary elections prior to the 2004 general elections. At that stage of his career he had never had any political position within the BDP both at national and regional level. Before his coming to parliament in 2009 His Honour was a BDP outsider, only his family name made him to belong. He is the youngest son of the late Edison Setlhomo Masisi who was a high ranking member of the ruling BDP and a member of our first parliament to the eighth parliament who also served under Sir Seretse Khama and Masire as cabinet minister in different ministerial postings.

After winning the parliamentary seat in the Moshupa constituency, President Ian Khama chose him as the junior minister in the ministry of presidential Affairs and public Administration. This deployment meant he had a close working relationship with the president and the quickest time to acquaint himself with the likes and dislikes of his superior and benefactor. When we became the laughing stock of the global community through Khama's developmental agenda of Poverty Eradication Programme by back-yard gardening, Masisi became the president spin-doctor and cheerleader, traversing the length and breadth of the semi-arid terrain of our country promoting his party leader's populist pet project. 

He promoted this programme with passion and aplomb to the point where the down trodden masses of our society took it as gospel truth that indeed back yard gardening will be the panacea to totally obliterate their pangs of hunger and their abject poverty. Masisi somewhat acquitted himself with flying colours; the bearer of bad news who turned them to glad tidings.

He did this by also ducking blows from the opposition which mocked the programme calling it unsavory names and defended the president from antagonistic elements within the broader sector of the populace. This programme execution and defending the president from the opposition detractors somewhat endeared Masisi to President Khama who equates total allegiance and blind loyalty to him to patriotism. This was the beginning of Eric Masisi's upward trajectory in his political sojourn.

He got his remarkable reward more than he had expected. As fate would have it, he got promoted to a full ministerial position when his superior Daniel Kwelagobe was made to choose between his ministerial position and the party position of chairmanship. Kwelagobe preferred the latter over the former. Masisi steered the ship of the ministry with dexterity in the eyes of his superintendent, Ian Khama. The next test of his loyalty to the powers that be was the infamous public sector strike of 2011.

Masisi struck his neck out and came to the rescue of his superior by risking his dignity, promising political career and his intellectual prowess by telling all and sundry, who dared to listen that the public sector unions mostly BOFEPUSO, can go to hell, come sunshine and hailstorm, the 16% salary increment they were demanding will never be effected let alone any salary increase however small. What the public servants will be getting will instead be no work, no pay. This was Khama's hardline stance regarding public sector wage negotiations which Masisi wholly embraced.

He only did not embraced it, he lived and preached it. Other cabinet ministers did their bidding but Masisi's ministerial portfolio was the one responsible for public sector, so he championed the course of his master with the description of superlatives only. After the 2011 public sector strike there were ensuing court battles and the public sector federations declaring war on the government and the ruling BDP head honchos including Masisi. Masisi got on well with his ministerial duties as nothing has happened.

He was still the president's blue eyed boy but at that stage a political minnow in the party hierarchy. He went about biting the bullet for the president whose high affinity for praise-poets, sycophants, loyalists and boot-lickers is second to none. By this stage of his career Masisi had already located Khama' soft spots, sensitivities, fears and vulnerabilities. He knew the person he was working for and the traits he embraces from his inner circle of cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, technocrats and others.

 Time was also crawling to the heartbeat of the Moshupa legislator. Then came the time for the BDP primary elections dubbed Bulela Ditswe. What came out of the primary elections was politically unprecedented. Some of the party stalwarts had been heavily defeated by what was seen to be political 'mosquitoes'.

The likes of Phandu Skelemani was beaten by Buti Billy, Ian Khama's cousin Dikgakgamatso Seretse was for the umpteenth time beaten by his longtime rival Kgotla Autlwetse, Peter Siele by Alfred Madigele, Reverend Setlalekgosi was beaten by  Tshenolo Mabeo. The sad reality was that all the losing candidates were cabinet ministers and the party's golden generation. They were openings for the party young turks to come to the fore to take their rightful places in the high echelons of BDP structures.

 In Moshupa constituency Mokgweetsi Masisi was elected BDP candidate unrivalled. He was given a clean bill of health to wrestle the constituency with the opposition which was now a quadrilateral alliance of the Botswana National Front (BNF), the BDP splinter group named the BMD, BPP and the Public and private sector union federation, BOFEPUSU. The quadrilateral alliance was now seen as a force to reckon with the ailing and fractious BDP and the political tide of the time was pregnant with regime change expectation.

Even though there was panic among the ruling party functionaries, what was given and apparent was that the BDP will win the 2014 general elections. What was remote and latent was the extent at what damage the alliance will cause, who among the political heavyweights are going to be causalities. Electioneering had begun in earnest, political vitriol and venom were spewed from both side of the Rubicon.

Masisi was among ministers who were on the hit-list of BOFEPUSO, who were seen to be enemies of the working class. During the campaigns Masisi declared himself a progeny of sycophantic ancestry, himself a bootlicker of repute both in government and at the tribal kraals at Moshupa and Manyana. This statement seemed to have put Masisi in the most treasured parts of Ian Khama's 'golden' heart. Khama with no iota of doubt knew Masisi was one of his trusted lieutenants. Khama being the believer in the power of the spoken word and unpretentious believed in what Masisi meant.

Masisi was growing in political clout and stature more than any person he found in the party. At that stage his words carried weight and was now acted upon in the party by elders and those who were ahead of him in the party hierarchy. When the American Embassy in Botswana sponsored radio political debates before the 2014 elections, Masisi took a unilateral decision which was later agreed and endorsed by the party leadership not to partake in the debates but instead create their own debates on the national television, Botswana Television, (BTV).

He told the ruling party faithfuls to open false social media accounts to stem the tide of opposition which was at its highest point ever in Botswana political atmosphere. These high commands were ordered by Masisi to the party general membership and party leadership thanks to him taking center stage when the party was experiencing leadership vacuum under the weight of a marauding opposition

He acquitted himself well when he appeared on national television against opposition, when presenting his party manifesto and credentials. He was a star in the rising but he was not yet khama's political right hand man. He was may be in the top five of khama's trusted lieutenants. Before the general election Kitso Onkokame Mokaila was the preferred Khama's Vice President candidate and there was utmost consensus in the party and the first family.

The Mokaila's are the Khama's family friends. Looking at his competencies and aptitude he was befitting the vice presidential credentials. The 2014 general elections came and went but their repercussions and aftermath was ghastly to contemplate. Their destruction of political lives of some of the president's untouchables was beyond comprehension. Kitso Mokaila was one of them, his chance of becoming the vice president went begging and Khama was left blushing. His preferred candidate cannot be Vice president because constitutionally, for one to become VP he must be an elected member of parliament.

The other causalities of 2014 general elections included long time cabinet ministers and strongmen in the mold of Jonnie Swartz, GUS Matlhabaphiri and Daniel Kwelagobe. The brighter side of it was that political newbies had hatched from the BDP golden egg and they were now parliamentarians. The quadrilateral alliance of UDC had left the BDP with only seven constituencies South of Dibete.

Masisi was among the Parliamentarians who came unscathed from the grueling duels of the election. To pacify the opposition from entrenching their stranglehold South of Dibete, a Vice president from down South was a political imperative… With the President Ian Khama from North of Dibete, half of the presidium had to be from the South to balance the act of Botswana's North and South divide regional politics.

Among Khama's trusted top five allies apart from his brother, Eric Masisi was the only person who fit the bill of becoming the Vice President. He was elected Vice President with purported conditionality but nonetheless he accepted. Masisi knew it was better to be within than to be outside. Part of the conditionality was that he would serve only for two years before the ultimate Vice President will be chosen to assume presidency when Khama leaves. He continued his loyalty to Khama, served a stint as minister of Education as well as Vice President.

In less than a year into his vice presidential position, one of BDP strong man Guma Samsom Moyo persuaded him to try his luck for party chairmanship. Masisi reluctantly accepted the proposal. His reluctance emanated from his superior's perception about his political ambitions. At the initial stages of the chairmanship race Khama's brother Tshekedi, Tebelelo Seretse and Dikgakamatso Seretse were the front runners.  Masisi’s candidature for the ruling party chairmanship was akin to throwing the cat among the pigeons.

He won the party chairmanship convincingly. This was the turning point in Masisi's political career. He was now in the big league of Botswana politics. The ruling BDP chairmanship and State vice Presidency are not mean feats, they mean absolute power. Masisi's assumption to BDP chairmanship was accepted by Khama reluctantly and viewed with suspicion. The positions Masisi occupied made him slightly invincible in the greater scheme of things. Time came for the conditions that were initially given to Masisi to effect but nothing happened. Some small machinations were played when Goodhope – Mabule Member of Parliament James Mathokgwane resigned his seat for a plum job at SPEDU, to create a special dispensation for Eric 'Hardrock' Molale.

The opposition consuming fire continued to ravage everything on its way and Molale was not spared. He suffered a humiliating defeat at the onset of his political career. This seemed to change Khama's perception regarding His Honour Eric Masisi's suitability to succeed him because fate always seemed to favour him, when arrows and bullets were aimed at him. Khama had no options in his political closet, only skeletons of his political bosom buddies and confidantes whom in his eyes were more suited to succeed him not Masisi. Khama started breaking BDP's long held tradition of factional neutrality by openly endorsing his Vice for the retention of the position of chairmanship in the 2017 elective congress which was held in Tonota.

Masisi and his faction dubbed Camp Dubai swept all the positions in the Central Committee to quell any doubts over his arrival at the plateau of BDP and Botswana politics. The cherry on top of his political clout was when President Ian Khama announced to the nation during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he will be relinquishing power next year into the capable hands of His Honour the Vice President. It might be the stuff of legends and myths, we should by now practice to say His Excellency Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi.

KEITERILE PHINEAS MALETSI is a freelance journalist

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Brands are important

27th March 2023

So, the conclusion is brands are important. I start by concluding because one hopes this is a foregone conclusion given the furore that erupts over a botched brand. If a fast food chef bungles a food order, there’d be possibly some isolated complaint thrown. However, if the same company’s marketing expert or agency cooks up a tasteless brand there is a country-wide outcry. Why?  Perhaps this is because brands affect us more deeply than we care to understand or admit. The fact that the uproar might be equal parts of schadenfreude, black twitter-esque criticism and, disappointment does not take away from the decibel of concern raised.

A good place to start our understanding of a brand is naturally by defining what a brand is. Marty Neumier, the genius who authored The Brand Gap, offers this instructive definition – “A brand is a person’s gut feel about a product or service”. In other words, a brand is not what the company says it is. It is what the people feel it is. It is the sum total of what it means to them. Brands are perceptions. So, brands are defined by individuals not companies. But brands are owned by companies not individuals. Brands are crafted in privacy but consumed publicly. Brands are communal. Granted, you say. But that doesn’t still explain why everybody and their pet dog feel entitled to jump in feet first into a brand slug-fest armed with a hot opinion. True. But consider the following truism.


Brands are living. They act as milestones in our past. They are signposts of our identity. Beacons of our triumphs. Indexes of our consumption. Most importantly, they have invaded our very words and world view. Try going for just 24 hours without mentioning a single brand name. Quite difficult, right? Because they live among us they have become one of us. And we have therefore built ‘brand bonds’ with them. For example, iPhone owners gather here. You love your iPhone. It goes everywhere. You turn to it in moments of joy and when we need a quick mood boost. Notice how that ‘relationship’ started with desire as you longingly gazed upon it in a glossy brochure. That quickly progressed to asking other people what they thought about it. Followed by the zero moment of truth were you committed and voted your approval through a purchase. Does that sound like a romantic relationship timeline. You bet it does. Because it is. When we conduct brand workshops we run the Brand Loyalty ™ exercise wherein we test people’s loyalty to their favourite brand(s). The results are always quite intriguing. Most people are willing to pay a 40% premium over the standard price for ‘their’ brand. They simply won’t easily ‘breakup’ with it. Doing so can cause brand ‘heart ache’. There is strong brand elasticity for loved brands.


Now that we know brands are communal and endeared, then companies armed with this knowledge, must exercise caution and practise reverence when approaching the subject of rebranding. It’s fragile. The question marketers ought to ask themselves before gleefully jumping into the hot rebranding cauldron is – Do we go for an Evolution (partial rebrand) or a Revolution(full rebrand)? An evolution is incremental. It introduces small but significant changes or additions to the existing visual brand. Here, think of the subtle changes you’ve seen in financial or FMCG brands over the decades. Evolution allows you to redirect the brand without alienating its horde of faithful followers. As humans we love the familiar and certain. Change scares us. Especially if we’ve not been privy to the important but probably blinkered ‘strategy sessions’ ongoing behind the scenes. Revolutions are often messy. They are often hard reset about-turns aiming for a total new look and ‘feel’.



Hard rebranding is risky business. History is littered with the agony of brands large and small who felt the heat of public disfavour. In January 2009, PepsiCo rebranded the Tropicana. When the newly designed package hit the shelves, consumers were not having it. The New York Times reports that ‘some of the commenting described the new packaging as ‘ugly’ ‘stupid’. They wanted their old one back that showed a ripe orange with a straw in it. Sales dipped 20%. PepsiCo reverted to the old logo and packaging within a month. In 2006 Mastercard had to backtrack away from it’s new logo after public criticism, as did Leeds United, and the clothing brand Gap. AdAge magazine reports that critics most common sentiment about the Gap logo was that it looked like something a child had created using a clip-art gallery. Botswana is no different. University of Botswana had to retreat into the comfort of the known and accepted heritage strong brand.  Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital was badgered with complaints till it ‘adjusted’ its logo.



So if the landscape of rebranding is so treacherous then whey take the risk? Companies need to soberly assess they need for a rebrand. According to the fellows at Ignyte Branding a rebrand is ignited by the following admissions :

Our brand name no longer reflects our company’s vision.
We’re embarrassed to hand out our business cards.

Our competitive advantage is vague or poorly articulated.
Our brand has lost focus and become too complex to understand. Our business model or strategy has changed.
Our business has outgrown its current brand.
We’re undergoing or recently underwent a merger or acquisition. Our business has moved or expanded its geographic reach.
We need to disassociate our brand from a negative image.
We’re struggling to raise our prices and increase our profit margins. We want to expand our influence and connect to new audiences. We’re not attracting top talent for the positions we need to fill. All the above are good reasons to rebrand.

The downside to this debacle is that companies genuinely needing to rebrand might be hesitant or delay it altogether. The silver lining I guess is that marketing often mocked for its charlatans, is briefly transformed from being the Archilles heel into Thanos’ glove in an instant.

So what does a company need to do to safely navigate the rebranding terrain? Companies need to interrogate their brand purpose thoroughly. Not what they think they stand for but what they authentically represent when seen through the lens of their team members. In our Brand Workshop we use a number of tools to tease out the compelling brand truth. This section always draws amusing insights. Unfailingly, the top management (CEO & CFO)always has a vastly different picture of their brand to the rest of their ExCo and middle management, as do they to the customer-facing officer. We have only come across one company that had good internal alignment. Needless to say that brand is doing superbly well.

There is need a for brand strategies to guide the brand. One observes that most brands ‘make a plan’ as they go along. Little or no deliberate position on Brand audit, Customer research, Brand positioning and purpose, Architecture, Messaging, Naming, Tagline, Brand Training and may more. A brand strategy distils why your business exists beyond making money – its ‘why’. It defines what makes your brand what it is, what differentiates it from the competition and how you want your customers to perceive it. Lacking a brand strategy disadvantages the company in that it appears soul-less and lacking in personality. Naturally, people do not like to hang around humans with nothing to say. A brand strategy understands the value proposition. People don’t buy nails for the nails sake. They buy nails to hammer into the wall to hang pictures of their loved ones. People don’t buy make up because of its several hues and shades. Make up is self-expression. Understanding this arms a brand with an iron clad clad strategy on the brand battlefield.

But perhaps you’ve done the important research and strategy work. It’s still possible to bungle the final look and feel.  A few years ago one large brand had an extensive strategy done. Hopes were high for a top tier brand reveal. The eventual proposed brand was lack-lustre. I distinctly remember, being tasked as local agency to ‘land’ the brand and we outright refused. We could see this was a disaster of epic proportions begging to happen. The brand consultants were summoned to revise the logo. After a several tweaks and compromises the brand landed. It currently exists as one of the country’s largest brands. Getting the logo and visual look right is important. But how does one know if they are on the right path? Using the simile of a brand being a person – The answer is how do you know your outfit is right? It must serve a function, be the right fit and cut, it must be coordinated and lastly it must say something about you. So it is possible to bath in a luxurious bath gel, apply exotic lotion, be facebeat and still somehow wear a faux pas outfit. Avoid that.

Another suggestion is to do the obvious. Pre-test the logo and its look and feel on a cross section of your existing and prospective audience. There are tools to do this. Their feedback can save you money, time and pain. Additionally one must do another obvious check – use Google Image to verify the visual outcome and plain Google search to verify the name. These are so obvious they are hopefully for gone conclusions. But for the brands that have gone ahead without them, I hope you have not concluded your brand journeys as there is a world of opportunity waiting to be unlocked with the right brand strategy key.

Cliff Mada is Head of ArmourGetOn Brand Consultancy, based in Gaborone and Cape Town.

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The case for Botswana to ratify the ACDEG

6th March 2023

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is the most comprehensive dataset measuring African governance performance through a wide range of 81 indicators under the categories of Security & Rule of law, Participation, Rights & Inclusion, Foundations of Economic Opportunity, and Human Development. It employs scores, expressed out of 100, which quantify a country’s performance for each governance measure and ranks, out of 54, in relation to the 54 African countries.

The 2022 IIAG Overall Governance score is 68.1 and ranks Botswana at number 5 in Africa. In 2019 Botswana was ranked 2nd with an overall score of 73.3. That is a sharp decline. The best-performing countries are Mauritius, Seychelles, Tunisia, and Cabo Verde, in that order. A glance at the categories shows that Botswana is in third place in Africa on the Security and Rule of law; ninth in the Participation, Rights & Inclusion Category – indicating a shrinking participatory environment; eighth for Foundations of Economic Opportunity category; and fifth in the Human Development category.

The 2022 IIAG comes to a sweeping conclusion: Governments are less accountable and transparent in 2021 than at any time over the last ten years; Higher GDP does not necessarily indicate better governance; rule of law has weakened in the last five years; Democratic backsliding in Africa has accelerated since 2018; Major restrictions on freedom of association and assembly since 2012. Botswana is no exception to these conclusions. In fact, a look at the 10-year trend shows a major challenge. While Botswana remains in the top 5 of the best-performing countries in Africa, there are signs of decline, especially in the categories of Human Development and Security & Rule of law.

I start with this picture to show that Botswana is no longer the poster child for democracy, good governance, and commitment to the rule of law that it once was. In fact, to use the term used in the IIAG, Botswana is experiencing a “democratic backsliding.”

The 2021 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) had Botswana at 55/ 100, the lowest ever score recorded by Botswana dethroning Botswana as Africa’s least corrupt country to a distant third place, where it was in 2019 with a CPI of 61/100. (A score closer to zero denotes the worst corrupt and a score closer to 100 indicates the least corrupt country). The concern here is that while other African states are advancing in their transparency and accountability indexes, Botswana is backsliding.

The Transitional National Development Plan lists participatory democracy, the rule of law, transparency, and accountability, as key “deliverables,” if you may call those deliverables. If indeed Botswana is committed to these principles, she must ratify the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG).

The African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance is the African Union’s principal policy document for advancing democratic governance in African Union member states. The ACDEG embodies the continent’s commitment to a democratic agenda and set the standards upon which countries agreed to be held accountable. The Charter was adopted in 2007 and came into force a decade ago, in 2012.

Article 2 of the Charter details its objectives among others as to a) Promote adherence, by each State Party, to the universal values and principles of democracy and respect for human rights; b) Promote and protect the independence of the judiciary; c) Promote the establishment of the necessary conditions to foster citizen participation, transparency, access to information, freedom of the press and accountability in the management of public affairs; d) Promote gender balance and equality in the governance and development processes.

The Charter emphasizes certain principles through which member states must uphold: Citizen Participation, Accountable Institutions, Respect for Human Rights, Adherence to the principles of the Rule of Law, Respect for the supremacy of the constitution and constitutional order, Entrenchment of democratic Principles, Separation of Powers, Respect for the Judiciary, Independence and impartiality of electoral bodies, best practice in the management of elections. These are among the top issues that Batswana have been calling for, that they be entrenched in the new Constitution.

The ACDEG is a revolutionary document. Article 3 of the ACDEG, sets guidance on the principles that must guide the implementation of the Charter among them: Effective participation of citizens in democratic and development processes and in the governance of public affairs; Promotion of a system of government that is representative; Holding of regular, transparent, free and fair elections; Separation of powers; Promotion of gender equality in public and private institutions and others.

Batswana have been calling for laws that make it mandatory for citizen participation in public affairs, more so, such calls have been amplified in the just-ended “consultative process” into the review of the Constitution of Botswana. Many scholars, academics, and Batswana, in general, have consistently made calls for a constitution that provides for clear separation of powers to prevent concentration of power in one branch, in Botswana’s case, the Executive, and provide for effective checks and balances. Other countries, like Kenya, have laws that promote gender equality in public and private institutions inscribed in their constitutions. The ACDEG could be a useful advocacy tool for the promotion of gender equality.

Perhaps more relevant to Botswana’s situation now is Article 10 of the Charter. Given how the constitutional review process unfolded, the numerous procedural mistakes and omissions, the lack of genuine consultations, the Charter principles could have provided a direction, if Botswana was party to the Charter. “State Parties shall ensure that the process of amendment or revision of their constitution reposes on national consensus, obtained, if need be, through referendum,” reads part of Article 10, giving clear clarity, that the Constitution belong to the people.

With the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance in hand, ratified, and also given the many shortfalls in the current constitution, Batswana can have a tool in hand, not only to hold the government accountable but also a tool for measuring aspirations and shortfalls of our governance institutional framework.

Botswana has not signed, nor has it acceded or ratified the ACDEG. The time to ratify the ACDEG is now. Our Movement, Motheo O Mosha Society, with support from the Democracy Works Foundation and The Charter Project Africa, will run a campaign to promote, popularise and advocate for the ratification of the Charter (#RatifytheCharter Campaign). The initiative is co-founded by the European Union. The Campaign is implemented with the support of our sister organizations: Global Shapers Community – Gaborone Hub, #FamilyMeetingBW, Botswana Center for Public Integrity, Black Roots Organization, Economic Development Forum, Molao-Matters, WoTech Foundation, University of Botswana Political Science Society, Young Minds Africa and Branding Akosua.

Ratifying the Charter would reaffirm Botswana’s commitment to upholding strong democratic values, and respect for constitutionalism, and promote the rule of law and political accountability. Join us in calling the Government of Botswana to #RatifyTheCharter.

*Morena MONGANJA is the Chairperson of Motheo O Mosha society; a grassroots movement advocating for a new Constitution for Botswana. Contact: or WhatsApp 77 469 362.

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The Taiwan Question: China ramps up military exercises to rebuff US provocations

18th August 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan has violated the One-China policy, and caused the escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Experts and political observers across the spectra agree that Pelosis actions and subsequent pronouncements by US President Joe Biden gave impetus to an already simmering tension in the Taiwan Strait, provoking China to strengthen its legitimate hold on the Taiwan Strait waters, which the US and Taiwan deem as international waters.

Pelosis visit to Chinas Taiwan region has been heavily criticised across the globe, with China arguing that this is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US Joint Communiqus. In response to this reckless move which seriously undermined China’s sovereignty, and interfered in China’s internal affairs, the expectation is for China to give a firm response. Pelosi visit violated the commitments made by the U.S. side, and seriously jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

To give context to Chinas position over Taiwan region, the history behind gives us perspective. It is also important to note that the history between China and Taiwan is well documented and the US has always recognized it.

The Peoples Republic of China recognises Taiwan as its territory. It has always been the case even before the Nationalist Republic of China government fled to the previously Japanese-ruled Island after losing the civil war on the mainland in 1949. According to literature that threat was contained for decades first with a military alliance between the US and the ROC on Taiwan, and after Washington switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC in 1979 by the US One China policy, which acknowledges Beijings position that Taiwan is part of One China. Effectively, Taiwans administration was transferred to the Republic of China from Japan after the Second World War in 1945, along with the split between the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) as a consequence of the Chinese Civil War. Disregarding this history, as the US is attempting to do, will surely initiate some defence reaction on the side of China to affirm its sovereignty.

However, this history was undermined since Taiwan claimed to democratise in the 1990s and China has grown ever more belligerent. Furthermore, it is well documented that the Biden administration, following the Trump presidency, has made subtle changes in the way it deals with Taipei, such as loosening restrictions on US officials meeting Taiwanese officials this should make China uneasy. And while the White House continues to say it does not support Taiwanese independence, Bidens words and actions are parallel to this pledge because he has warned China that the US would intervene militarily if China attacked Taiwan another statement that has provoked China.

Pelosi, in her private space, would know that her actions amount to provocation of China. This act of aggression by the USA seriously undermines the virtues of sovereignty and territorial integrity which has a huge potential to destabilize not only the Taiwan Strait but the whole of the Asia- Pacific region. The Americans know very well that their provocative behavior is deliberately invoking the spirit of separatism masqueraded as Taiwan independence. The US is misled to think that by supporting separatism of Taiwan from China that would give them an edge over China in a geopolitics. This is what one Chinese diplomat said this week: The critical point is if every country put their One-China policy into practice with sincerity, with no compromise, is going to guarantee the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Therefore, it was in the wake of US House speaker Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan, that China, in a natural response revealed plans for unprecedented military exercises near the island, prompting fears of a crisis in the Taiwan Strait and the entire Asia-Pacific region. The world community must promote and foster peace, this may be achieved when international laws are respected. It may also happen when nations respect the sovereignty of another. China may be in a better space because it is well capacitated to stake its territorial integrity, what about a small nation, if this happens to it?

As to why military exercises by Beijing; it is an expected response because China was provoked by the actions of Pelosi. To fortify this position, Chinese President, Xi signed a legal basis for Chinas Peoples Liberation Army to safeguard Chinas national sovereignty, security and development interests. The legal basis will also allow military missions around disaster relief, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping. In addition the legal changes would allow troops to prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard Chinas overseas investments, projects and personnel. It then follows that President Xis administration cannot afford to look weak under a US provocation. President Xi must protector Chinas sovereignty and territorial integrity, of which Taiwan is a central part. Beijing is very clear on One-China Policy, and expects all world players to recognize and respect it.

The Peoples Liberation Army has made it clear that it has firepower that covers all of Taiwan, and it can strike wherever it wants. This sentiments have been attributed to Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA Navy Research Institute. Zheng further said, We got really close to Taiwan. We encircled Taiwan. And we demonstrated that we can effectively stop intervention by foreign forces. This is a strong reaction from China to warn the US against provocation and violation of the One-China Policy.

Beijings military exercises will certainly shake Taiwans confidence in the sources of its economic and political survival. The potential for an effective blockade threatens the air and shipping routes that support Taiwans central role in global technology supply chains. Should a humanitarian situation arise in Taiwan, the blame would squarely be on the US.

As Chinas military exercises along the Taiwan Strait progress and grow, it remains that the decision by Nancy Pelosi to visit Chinas Taiwan region gravely undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sent a wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces. This then speaks to international conventions, as the UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres explicitly stressed that the UN remains committed to the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. The centerpiece is the one-China principle, namely, there is but one China in the world, the government of the Peoples Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is a part of China. It must be noted that the US and the US-led NATO countries have selectively applied international law, this has been going on unabated. There is a plethora of actions that have collapsed several states after they were attacked under the pretext of the so-called possession of weapons of mass destruction illuminating them as threats – and sometimes even without any valid reason. to blatantly launch military strikes and even unleash wars on sovereign countrie

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