Author: Song-Huann Lin.
To date, no in-depth analysis has been made of the diplomatic relations that existed between the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) from 1976 to 1997. Current scholarly works on relations between the two countries tend to oversimplify the forces that drew the two countries into close association during the said period, and presume that ROC-RSA bilateral relations were merely the result on the mutual pariah status of both states. In addition, several common misconceptions regarding the nature of ROC-RSA relations are recurrent in the existing research. This thesis, therefore, examines the development of ROA-RSA relations and interactions from the eve of the ROC government’s relocation to Taiwan in 1948 to the severance of ROC-RSA diplomatic relations in 1998 against the background of the overall historical circumstances of both countries. This study argues that the factors in the formation of ROC-RSA ties are manifold and a result of the convergence of anti-communist ideologies and common interests. Pariah status and international ostracism are only part of the array of complex factors. Efforts are made to investigate the historical conditions, foreign policy objectives and national interests that helped cement diplomatic relations, as well as the extent of co-operation in the complete spectrum of ROC-RSA relations, including economic and cultural relations, and military and nuclear collaborations. These various aspects are explored in order to give a fuller picture of ROC-RSA tenses and limitations of these relations are analysed. Furthermore, the causes that led to South Africa’s switch of diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China(PRC) and the prospects of future relations between the ROC and the RSA are also studied.