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Taiwan Ambassador Jeremy Liang unleashes armed police officers to arrest Chinese nationals working at R3.5billion Mpakeni Dam amid diplomatic tension with China,accused of being illegal immigrants.

Thursday, 8th February, 2024

MPAKENI:Jeremy Liang, the Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan allegedly unleashed a battalion of armed State police officers to arrest Chinese nationals working at the R3.5billion Mpakeni Dam on Wednesday afternoon,the Chinese citizens were accused of being illegal immigrants and/or working without permits.

This comes amid tension between Taiwan and China, as the People’s Republic of China(PRC) intensifies moves to establish diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of eSwatini in line with the United Nations(UN) Resolution 2758 of 1971.

The tender to construct the Mpakeni Dam was awarded to a Chinese company, a decision that allegedly angered the Taiwan Ambassador who commands influence within Cabinet and the security forces through donations.

It is alleged that,through his Intelligence Unit based at the Embassy in Mbabane,Taiwan Ambassador Jeremy Liang has been screening the Chinese workers and investigating the circumstances surrounding the tender.

Samson Sithole,the Chief Executive Officer(CEO)of the Eswatini Water Agricultural and Development Enterprise(ESWADE) is also alleged to be a subject of an investigation by the Taiwan Embassy.

ESWADE is the overseer of the Mpakeni Dam project and according to insiders,the CEO “is suspected by the Taiwan Embassy to have played a role in increasing the activities of the Chinese in eSwatini through the R3.5billion Dam project.

Reached for comments by this Swaziland News earlier,Jeremy Liang, the Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan said, he was not comfortable to discuss this matter and/or the controversy surrounding the decision to award the tender to the company owned by the Mainland China,he referred comments to Government.

“I think you have to contact the eSwatini Government about this,I am not comfortable to speak about it,”said the Taiwanese Ambassador to eSwatini when speaking to this publication.

Subsequent efforts to seek further comments from the Ambassador on the latest developments proved unsuccessful as he had not responded to a message sent to him on Wednesday evening.

A questionnaire was sent to Government Spokesperson Alpheous Nxumalo, however, he had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

But videos in our possession show the armed State police officers ‘grabbing’ the Chinese nationals on Wednesday, some of these Chinese work as Supervisors at the Mpakeni Dam.

A questionnaire was sent to Senior Superintendent Phindile Vilakati,the Police Spokesperson, however,she had not responded at the time of compiling this report.

Reached for comments by this Swaziland News on Wednesday evening,Samson Sithole,the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Eswatini Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise(ESWADE) confirmed that,the police arrived to arrest the Chinese nationals on suspicion that, they had no work permits.

“We are yet to receive information tomorrow on what actually happened because we had written supporting letters for their work permits application.But what I gathered is that, their visas to be in the country were still valid and the issue might be that,the work permits were being processed and not yet granted”, said the ESWADE CEO.

Responding to this publication on Wednesday evening when asked to share a comment,Brian Sangweni,the National Spokesperson of eSwatini’s main and largest political party,the People’s United Democratic Movement(PUDEMO)said,foreign missions are not expected to be involved in domestic affairs particularly,on issues of alleged illegally immigrants.

“The duty of dealing with suspected illegal immigrants in any particular jurisdiction solely lies with the law enforcement agencies of that jurisdiction and under no circumstances should foreign missions meddle with that no matter how powerful they might be.King Mswati’s government law enforcement agencies are setting a wrong precedence by allowing themselves to be tools of foreign missions who want to settle scores with their perceived rivalries.It should be condemned with the highest possible tone.As PUDEMO,we accordingly condemn this rogue act,the dignity of foreign people will be guaranteed under PUDEMO-led government Foreign Policy and at no point we will allow the dignity of anyone to be traded with anything:not with rice or yellow maize.We seek to build a state that will be a site of mass destination for foreigners either for tourism purposes or investments”, said the PUDEMO National Spokesperson.


Taiwan Ambassador Jeremy Liang unleashes armed police officers to arrest Chinese nationals working at R3.5billion Mpakeni Dam amid diplomatic tension with China,accused of being illegal immigrants.
Police officers arresting Chinese at the Mpakeni Dam offices.