The small African state of Somaliland legally doesn’t exist. But Taiwan has spied an … — ABC

“It’s a secret,” smiles Allen C Lou, when asked how many Tai­wanese per­son­nel are based in Hargeisa, cap­i­tal of the unrecog­nised state of Soma­liland in the Horn of Africa.Taiwan is com­mit­ted to recog­nis­ing the de fac­to state and Lou is Taipei’s chief diplo­mat. But he is coy about just how sub­stan­tial Taipei’s diplo­mat­ic del­e­ga­tion real­ly is.On social media and in con­ver­sa­tion, he casu­al­ly embraces the title of ambas­sador. Yet giv­en the ambigu­ous polit­i­cal sta­tus of Soma­liland, his host coun­try, Lou is mind­ful to point out that his offi­cial title is mere­ly “representative”.But no mat­ter the size of Tai­wan’s pres­ence in Soma­liland, Taipei’s alliance with this unrecog­nised state has been steadi­ly build­ing since August 2020.