Apart from political-diplomatic, economic and nuclear co-operation, there were military

Apart from political-diplomatic, economic and nuclear co-operation, there were military
Apart from political-diplomatic,
economic and nuclear co-operation, there were military
and other important aspects in ROC-RSA bilateral relations which had been developed
prior to the severance of the diplomatic ties in January 1998.
This chapter considers
the relationships in the military, academic, sport and socio-cultural
spheres during the
period from 1976 to 1997. In particular, specific attention will be paid to the military cooperation between the two countries.
It will explore the ROC's past military agreements
with South Africa, including the implementation,
results, constraints and limits thereof.
As to the academic, sport and socio-cultural dimensions, efforts are also made in the
chapter to provide insight into the origins and subsequent developments of the relevant
links for the duration of the two decades.
Military links between the ROC and the RSA were established as from 1977 when the
two countries
But the official
between Taipei and Pretoria began only on March 11th, 1980 when the then Prime
Minister of South Africa, P.W. Botha, signed a secret Agreement on the Co-operation of
the Defence Industries between the government of the RSA and the government of the
ROC with the then Premier of the ROC, Yun-suan Sun, in Cape Town.1
Both the ROC and the RSA were isolated in the military domain, and both countries
faced severe security threats.
The ROC was and still is under constant threat from its
arch-enemy, the PRC, although its military equipment supply from the USA, and its
links remained
largely unaffected
by its external
Nevertheless, the ROC was and is denied access to other foreign sources of
military hardware, know-how, training, aid and co-operation.
By 1975, the superiority of
the ROC Air Force over the PLA of the Chinese Communists was eroding as the ROC's
main all-weather operational fighter planes, the American Lockheed F-104, designed in
1950, were ageing and becoming increasingly obsolescent.
lacked all-weather
The F-5Es assembled in
The ROC Navy faced a similar situation.
Therefore, the ROC military eagerly sought superior technology and more advanced
especially radar-guided air-to-air, air-to-ship and ship-to-ship missiles, with
greater range.
In response to the PRC's military threats, the ROC has sought to
develop its own strong national defence capabilities.
The primary objective of the
ROC's defence policy is to defend Taiwan, the Pescadores, Kinmen, and Matsu.
Taiwan is an island, to deter the possible invasion of the PRC from the sea and air,
naval and air supremacy is a priority of its military defence strategy.
The need for the
ROC to maintain a strong military force numbering approximately 400,000 was clearly
expounded by the then ROC President Lee Teng-hui in his speech addressed to the
newly-promoted generals of the ROC armed forces on December 30th, 1994:
Provisions of the Mobilization and Suppression of Communist Rebellion,
and our policy is no longer aimed at reconquering mainland China or using
military force to solve the issue of national unification, the PRC never
renounces the use of military force against us.
isolating and bullying us.
no other
but to develop
Moreover, the PRC is
Under these circumstances,
our own
strengthen our national defence and upgrade our fighting power, so as to
ensure that we have no fear of the PRC's military threats, and that we can
initiate and conduct the normal development of the cross-Straits relations.3
The normalisation
of relations between Washington
and Beijing in 1979 was another
serious blow to the ROC's national security. As a result of the severance of USA-ROC
diplomatic ties, the cornerstone of the ROC national security, namely the 1954 USA-
ROC Mutual Defense Treaty, was abrogated as from January 1st, 1980. Although the
USA Congress enacted the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in March 1979 to substitute the
1954 defence pact and to regulate the USA's substantive relations with the ROC, the
ROC government
was deeply alarmed by the change of American
of the USA-ROC
in favour of recognition
policy and the
of the PRC for a
rearrangement of the international balance of power. Although the TRA authorised the
USA government to provide the ROC with such defence articles and defence services
as was necessary to enable the ROC to maintain a sufficient self-defence capability, the
PRC pressured the USA government to impose quantitative and qualitative restrictions
on arm sales to the ROC as from August 17th, 1982. The ROC was also denied access
to the more advanced
military products. The American
mainly on the USA's political considerations
arms supplies were based
and national interests.
The ROC's arms
procurement requests for upgraded F-5 fighters and the Harpoon ship-to-ship missiles
were both rejected by the Carter administration on the grounds that the requested arms
sales would be too provocative
to Beijing.4
Under these circumstances,
the ROC
leadership felt that although the ROC government would continue to lobby the American
government and congress to sell defensive arms to the ROC, there was a need to seek
other sources of military technology to safeguard its national security.
To this end,
South Africa, with its fairly advanced arms industry, defence research projects and its
manufacture of various armaments developed by the Armaments Corporation of South
Africa (Armscor)
was considered
a useful partner to upgrade
the ROC's military
equipment, armaments, tests and training.5
To cope with the unreliability of its major arms supplier, the ROC was in quest of the
production of high performance weapons and alternative sources of arms supply and
military training so as to strengthen its national defence, especially to maintain sufficient
naval and air superiority to counter the threat posed by the Communists.
It was for
these reasons that the ROC began its military co-operation with South Africa in 1980.
Yet the ROC's major security guarantor and arms supplier was still the USA from where
they obtained weapon systems and military technology.
In fact, with the American
connection, in particular the TRA, the ROC was militarily far less isolated than South
Africa from the 1960s to the 1980s.
By contrast, South Africa was relatively more isolated than the ROC during the same
Before 1960, Britain was South Africa's main arms supplier.
After the 1960
Sharpeville killings and subsequent harsh repressions elsewhere, however, the British
was reluctant to provide arms to South Africa.
Kennedy administration
In August
1963, the
announced that the USA government would start to impose a
selective arms embargo on South Africa as from the end of 1963. The arms embargoes
imposed by the USA and the UK were shaped in the Cold War environment primarily as
a symbolic gesture of opposition to South Africa's apartheid policies in response to the
increasing international outcry against Pretoria's internal policies~ In the same year, the
UN Security Council for the first time called on all states to voluntarily observe an arms
ban against South Africa.
France and Italy, however, ignored the UN's voluntary arms
embargo and emerged to substitute the UK and the USA as the two major arms
s.uppliers to South Africa during 1963-1977.6
Many other countries including Israel,
Belgium, Canada, Jordan, India and Spain also sold arms to South Africa during the
Israel and the ROC were often singled out as having close military co-
operations with South Africa.
Israel reportedly sold South Africa six long-range gun-
boats equipped with guided Israeli-Gabriel
missiles, Uzi submachine
guns, counter-
insurgency equipment, and improved tank armour.
However, in November
1977, the UN Security Council imposed a mandatory
embargo on South Africa.
UN member states were obligated to collectively implement
the Security Council's mandatory arms embargo against South Africa in compliance
with this resolution.
it was reported that several communist
including Bulgaria and Communist China, continued to flout this arms ban, and that
South Africa had secret arms dealings with the PRC even at the height of sanctions and
the UN arms embargoes during the late 1980s and early 1990s.9
This arms embargo
remained in effect until the dawn of the new democratic South Africa in July 1991.
The UN's mandatory
arms ban was an impediment
onwards, most of the major Western
refrained from selling weapons
to South Africa.
From 1978
powers and other member states of the UN
to South Africa and military
was also
Even Israel announced its commitment to abide by the Security Council's
mandatory arms embargo on South Africa.1o Although covert Israeli arms dealings with
South Africa continued until 1987, when the USA put pressure on Israel to end its
clandestine sales to Pretoria,11 overt Israeli military co-operation was gradually drawing
to a close by the year 1980.12
In the face of the gradual enforcement of the international
arms embargo on South
Africa, Pretoria was determined, on the one hand, to develop its own arms industry as
from 1964, and on the other hand, turned to the ROC for military collaboration as from
1980. The ensuing military co-operation between the ROC and the RSA came about
mainly due to four motivations.
Firstly, South Africa perceived the ROC as being in a relatively advantageous
because she still retained the USA as her de facto military backer and she was a
wealthy country which needed to import an enormous quantity of armaments for her
Therefore, the South African government hoped that through the mutual
Pretoria would be able to obtain components,
spare parts,
technology and know-how of the more advanced American arms system from the ROC
to enhance its own arms industry. As the ROC was not a member of the UN after 1971,
she was not legally bound to observe the UN arms embargo on South Africa.
Secondly, the South African arms industry had achieved remarkable progress in selfsufficiency and had grown to become one of the world's top arms exporters by the
The ROC was therefore considered an ideal market for the products of the
Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor) and its ten subsidiaries.
from 1984 to 1995, the total value of Armscor's arms export to the ROC was merely
NT$2 billion dollars which is equivalent to R465 million.
The ROC only accorded 1.5
per cent of its defence budget to South Africa. Armscor was deeply disappointed by the
discrepancy between the reality and the originally perceived potentiality of the ROC
market. From Pretoria's perspective, the ROC's arms procurement, mainly ammunition,
from Armscor was insignificant.
The disillusion eventually led to the winding down of
the ROC-RSA military co-operation.14
Thirdly, to counter the Communist expansion in southern Africa, the ROC assisted the
RSA in setting up a monitoring station in a Pretoria suburb as from 1980 to decipher the
Chinese Communist broadcasts,
intelligence communications,
radio announcements,
electronic transmissions
and to gather information on the broadcasts from Moscow
in the Chinese language as well.
The exchange of intelligence and the monitoring of
Communist activities in South Africa were important facets of the military co-operation
between the ROC and the RSA.
Last but not least, the ROC-RSA
military co-operation was underpinned
stance and common
survival in their respective uncertain environments
by the two
desire to safeguard
at the time.
This was reflected by
the remarks made by the then Prime Minister, P.W. Botha, on March 1ih, 1980 when
he welcomed the then ROC Premier Yun-suan Sun to Cape Town during the state
In response to Premier Sun's assertion that the two countries
threat from international
faced a
and, for this simple reason,
together and co-operated with each other, P.W. Botha stated clearly that, indeed, both
countries had not only become the victims of international political expedience, but were
also under the threat of aggressive alien communism.15
In a similar line, General Magnus Malan, the then Minister of Defence of the RSA, also
stressed the need for South Africa to cope with the onslaught of Marxist enemies:
The threat against the principles and values we stand for continues to this
day ... Today we have a different enemy.
But the SACP and its terrorist
puppets that we face on our borders and inside South Africa have exactly
the same objective
as the enemy of the Second World War.
objective is to destroy our values and what we stand for.
They want to
overthrow our present dispensation ... If we capitulate in the face of this
threat, we will wipe out everything that South Africans have worked for
through the ages and have fought for in two World Wars.16
Therefore, for South Africa, it was the desire to obtain American
arms technology
through the ROC and to sell South African arms to the ROC, combined with the two
countries' common beliefs and mutual need that led her to pursue military co-operation
with the ROC.
The ROC's military co-operation with South Africa was mainly in the
technological field. This involved the development of the defence industries of the two
countries, the exchange of information and know-how in respect of military equipment,
the procurement of military armaments for the ROC's navy and air force, the reciprocal
visits of personnel, and the training of the ROC's military personnel, in particular the
ROC's air force pilots and naval officers, in the RSA.
Of specific interest to the ROC
was the South African Naval training courses for submarine commanding officers and
the RSA's experience in flying the mirage fighter jets.17
The reason the ROC was so keen on learning warfare tactics and gaining experience
from the RSA's navy and air force was the strategic consideration
naval and air supremacy
were deemed
most important
that as an island
for her national
The military threat of mainland China was mainly from the PRC's missiles,
submarines and air force.
The ROC had two submarines during the 1980s and the
ROC's air force intended to procure 60 French-made new Mirage fighter jets to augment
its combat aircraft wings in addition to its 150 F-16 fighters as from 1993.18 Since the
Mirage fighter jets were the mainstay of the RSA's air force, and the
RSA's navy had a Submarine
Flotilla consisting of three modernised
submarines, with one submarine training school in Simon's Town, and a Strike Craft
Flotilla with nine missile-armed strike crafts based in Durban, complemented by a Mine
Flotilla comprising
eight River and Ton class minehunters,19 the
relevant training conducted in South Africa would be beneficial to the ROC military
towards boosting its fighting capability.
Therefore, for the ROC, the procurement of armaments was not the main motivation.
was the above-mentioned
broad strategic considerations of the two countries that had
kept the ROC and the RSA on a course of military co-operation
for one and a half
decades from 1980 to 1995.
In 1980, the ROC and the RSA secretly entered into an Agreement on the Co-operation
of the Defence Industries of the two countries.
The military co-operation
was signed by P.W. Botha and Yun-suan Sun on March
Sun's official visit to South Africa.
Staff, Admiral
1980 in Cape Town during
Sun was accompanied
by the then ROC Chief of
Soong, during this visit.
agreement marked the beginning of ROC-RSA
The signing of this
military co-operation.
The purpose of
the agreement was to "promote and expand all areas of mutual interest in the military
field in order to economise man-power, materials, finance and time, thereby facilitating
the defence industry development of both parties.,,20
The ROC-RSA military co-operation covered all areas of military co-operation, and was
not limited to the collaborative
was called "Agreement
b.etween the ROC and the RSA."
of defence industries
on the Co-operation
alone, albeit the
of the Defence
In accordance with Article II of this agreement, the
ROC-RSA military co-operation encompassed the following fields:
of know-how
in respect
equipment or armaments;
Exchange of information in other related fields as may be determined from
time to time;
Bilateral training and reciprocal visits of personnel; and
For the collaborative development of their defence industries, it was necessary for the
two countries
to facilitate
bilateral co-ordination.
The two governments,
On the policy-making
level, the Ministry of
National Defence of the ROC and the Armaments Corporation (Armscor) of the RSA;
and on the execution level, the Combined Service Forces of the ROC and the senior
management of Armscor of the RSA, while all liaison and correspondence
between the
two countries was directed to the Senior General Manager (Commercial) of Armscor of
the RSA and to the Commander-in-Chief
of the Combined Service Forces of the ROC
respectively via the respective accredited defence attaches stationed in Pretoria and
In order to determine the type of co-operation programmes undertaken and to review
their progress, a semi-annual
Defence Industry Co-operation
was convened in Pretoria and Taipei alternately.
in all conference-related
The hosting country sponsored the
delegations of the two countries attending the conference were designated as follows:
The ROC Delegation:
Vice Chief of the General Staff, Ministry of Defence
Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Logistics, Ministry of Defence
Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Planning, Ministry of Defence
Vice President, Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology
Ad Hoc members as may from time to time be required to facilitate
specific projects entered into.
The RSA Delegation:
Chairman of Armscor
Executive Vice Chairman of Armscor
Nominee of the Chief of the Defence Force
Senior General Manager (Commercial) of Armscor
Ad Hoc members as may from time to time be required to facilitate
specific projects entered into.
Along with the said semi-annual ROC-RSA Defence Industry Co-operation Conference,
each country
also established
its own permanent
Committee to effect the execution of the approved co-operation
programmes and to
handle any matters of technical, financial or contractual nature which were agreed upon
at the Co-operation Conference. 22
The ROC Ministry of Defence and its armed forces and the South African Defence
Force (SADF) generally handled the reciprocal training and exchange of personnel
visits programmes.
Due to the restriction
of Article VII of the said Co-operation
Agreement which stipulated that "the co-operation contents shall not be disclosed to a
third country without prior consent of the originating country", 23 the existence of this
agreement and its contents were kept secret.
Based on the above-mentioned
agreement, the ROC-RSA
The first ROC-RSA
launched from 1980.
military co-operation was
Industry Co-operation
Conference was held in Taipei on May 15th 1980, and the second in Pretoria on October
30th of the same year.
From the third conference
(1981) onwards, till the seventh
conference (1985), the conference was held alternatively in Taipei and Pretoria each
However, from 1986 to 1995, the conference took place every nine months
instead of yearly.
All together, there were eighteen co-operation
conferences for the
duration of the fifteen years from 1980 to 1995.
In 1995, as a result of its policy shift, the South African government
decided to
unilaterally put an end to the military co-operation between the ROC and the RSA as
from 1996, although the ROC was looking forward to the continuation of co-operation
even after South Africa's establishment of diplomatic relation with the PRC. Therefore,
1995 witnessed the last ROC-RSA
was held in Pretoria in May.24
Defence Industry Co-operation Conference, which
During the fifteen-year
time span from 1980 to 1995, the ROC made considerable
efforts to expand military co-operation with South Africa in a number of areas.
was, then, a close relationship
between the ROC and the RSA.
Some significant
accomplishments were achieved in Research, Development (R&D) and the exchange of
over the 15 years with varying
of success.
The notable
successful projects included co-operation in the field of aerodynamics,
of special
especially wind
programmes; composite materials; the research and development of smart shell ballistic
and ring laser gyros; the development
sonar technology,
of RPV engine
and airframe
underwater acoustics, sea mines, and anti-aircraft
defence systems.25
of technology
were also conducted
with regard to the maintenance
Gabriel missiles, target acquisition methods, the development of the air-to-air missile
programme and fibre-optic guided missiles.
In addition to the technical exchanges,
there were many other joint R&D programmes
that were implemented
by the two
These included tank designs, installation of night vision on M41 tanks,
plating chromium of 76mm quick gun barrels, millimetre wave radar, infrared ray (IR)
and simulation technology, third generation image intensifier tubes,
155mm artillery systems, explosive changes, autonomous target acquisition, FT5 rocket
systems, 127mm artillery rocket systems, and even submarine attachments and mine
Most of these joint co-operation programmes were handled by Chung Shan Institute of
Science and Technology
and CSIR.
(CSIST) and Armscor.
Some were implemented
The remainder were pursued by the ROC Metal Industries' Research &
Centre and various organisations
of the ROC military,
Combined Service Forces (CSF) and the planning and maintenance
such as the
divisions of the
ROC Armed Forces, as well as subsidiaries of Armscor such as Denel (Somchem),
Denel (Naschem), Atlas Aircraft Co., Kentron (pty) Ltd., Pretoria Metal Pressings (Pty)
Ltd., and Eloptro.
Eloptro specialised
in military electro-optics;
Somchem supplied
propellants and explosives; and Kentron made guided missiles. It was generally agreed
upon by both sides that the ROC-RSA
R&D co-operation and exchange of technology
were successful from the commencement
of the military co-operation
in 1980 till its
ending in 1995.27
Bilateral training and reciprocal visits of personnel, as well as exchanges between the
respective defence forces took place on a frequent and alternate basis.
As regards
bilateral training, the exact total numbers of military personnel who underwent various
training courses in the respective defence forces, institutions and universities are not
available to date, as military co-operation was shrouded in secrecy.
According to the
compilation of the ROC Embassy in 1995, 85 military officers from the ROC underwent
various training courses in South Africa during 1989-1994; and in the same period,
2,647 military personnel were dispatched by the ROC to pay a short visit to South
Africa. Among them, 2,469 were ROC naval officers and cadets.28
The ROC Naval Goodwill Squadron visited South Africa twice during the period (19891994) - in 1989 and in 1992. The Squadron consisted of two destroyers, one supply
vessel and approximately
1300 naval officers and cadets.
Before 1989, the ROC had
sent the Naval Goodwill Squadron to visit South Africa several times.
In July 1985, the
ROC dispatched a Naval Task Group of three ships with 1,400 officers and midshipmen
to visit South Africa for 15 days. The visit coincided with the South African Navy Week,
July 8_13th, and the Durban Tattoo.
From 1994 until the severance
diplomatic links in 1998, the ROC twice dispatched the Naval Goodwill Squadron to visit
South Africa - in 1996 and in 1997. The ROC Naval Goodwill Squadron visited Cape
Town, Simon's Town and Durban during 2ih
May - 8th June, 1996. The main purpose
of the 1996 visit was to enable the ROC naval officers and cadets to engage in longdistance navigation
training with the South African Navy (SAN).
The ROC Naval
Goodwill Squadron's visit in April 1997 was at the invitation of the SAN in celebration of
its seventy-fifth anniversary.
This visit in 1997 marked the last presence of the ROC
naval squadron on South African seas in the naval histories of the two countries.
add the figures of the above-mentioned
If we
ROC Naval Goodwill Squadron visits to those
from 1980-1988, the total number of ROC military personnel who visited South Africa or
attended various training courses in the RSA is estimated at approximately 10,000.29
Visits by the ROC military top personnel also took place.
senior ROC
military delegations with a total of 83 senior officers including generals, admirals and
commanding officers were invited by the South African Defence Force to visit the RSA
during 1989-1994.
203 officers of the ROC military's top
personnel visited the RSA during 1980-1997.30
General Staff, and Commanders-in-Chief
This included the ROC Chiefs of
of the ROC Army, Navy and Air Force.
of the ROC Chiefs of General Staff visited South Africa.
The Chief of General Staff is
the highest commanding general of the ROC military command system and is in charge
of military affairs and operational matters.
military co-operation was initiated during the term of office of Admiral
Chang-chih Soong, the ROC then Chief of General Staff from 1976 to 1981.
Soong accompanied Yun-suan Sun, on his official visit to South Africa in March 1980
and witnessed
the signing of the Agreement
on the Co-operation
of the Defence
Industries between the ROC and the RSA on March 11th in Cape Town.
While he was
in South Africa, Admiral Soong met his counterpart General Magnus Malan, the then
Chief of Staff of the SADF, and the then Chief of the South African Navy, Vice-Admiral
R.A. Edwards, to discuss the framework of ROC-RSA
bilateral military co-operation.
Admiral Soong visited the South African Army College, Simon's Town Naval Base,
Armscor, the SADF military bases and the frontline in South West Africa (Namibia) near
the border of Angola to assess the regional military situation.31
But the ROC-RSA
military co-operation
truly flowered under the tenure of Admiral
Soong's successor - General Pei-tsun Hau, the longest-serving
of the ROC (1981-1989).
Chief of General Staff
Hau visited South Africa during April 24th
May 3rd, 1983.
During his visit, Hau met the then Prime Minister, P.W. Botha; the then Minister of
Defence, General Magnus Malan; the then Chief of the S.A. Defence Force, General
Constand Viljoen; the then Chief of the South African Navy, Vice-Admiral A. P. Putter;
and the then Head of Armscor, Commandant
held between the two sides.
Piet Marais.
Various discussions were
It was agreed by both that the ROC-RSA
military co-
operation, in particular the co-operation of defence industries, should be founded on the
basis of non-profit seeking and that no subsidy would be provided by either country to
the other. It was agreed also that the two countries would play different roles in the joint
endeavour and share equally in the development of cost-reduced
military equipment
and armaments.32
ROC frequently
to the statistics compiled by the ROC Embassy, 31 high-ranking
African commanding
officers and 171 middle-ranking
South African military officers
visited the ROC during 1989-1994; and 19 South African military officers underwent
military training in the ROC.33 In addition, there were approximately 64 middle-ranking
South African military officers and officials who attended the political warfare course at
the ROC Fu Hsing Kang College from 1980 to 1996. Each year, the ROC government
sponsored 3 to 5 South African trainees to attend the above-mentioned
course. The Fu
Hsing Kang College (literally means Renaissance Hill College) was established in 1951
in a suburb of Taipei to train political warfare cadres for the ROC armed forces and
those of countries friendly to the ROC. The college has 11 departments and a graduate
school offering both master's and doctoral degree programmes.
focused on the understanding
of the doctrine of international
The training course
communist parties' political systems and their common tactics including the warfares of
ideology, organisation,
intelligence, psychology, mobilisation of masses, and strategy.
The political warfare course was open to not only the South African military personnel,
but also to the South African Police (SAP) and officials from other South African
governmental organisations including the State Security Council, Bureau of Information,
of National
of Home
The majority of the South African trainees of the said course were
nominated by the SADF.
In 1989, at the height of ROC-RSA military co-operation, the
ROC government unilaterally offered to set up a special political warfare class NO. 102
(training duration 6 weeks: from July 8th to August 19th) to train 25 South African military
officers to combat the growing communist threat. However, the SADF was only able to
send 2 military officers to attend the said course in 1989 and 5 officers in 1990.34
Most of the top South African generals and military commanding
officers at the time
either visited the ROC or received various medals in recognition of their contributions
towards promoting the close military exchanges and co-operation
between the ROC
and the RSA. As early as 1981, the ROC had presented medals for political warfare to
the then South African Minister of Defence, General Magnus Malan; then Chief of the
South African Defence Force, General Constand Viljoen; then Chief of the South African
Army, Lt-General Jannie Geldenhuys; then Chief of Staff: Operations, Lt-General John
Dutton; then Chief of the South African Navy, Admiral Ronnie Edwards; and other top
South African officers including Major-General
Pieter Hanekom, Major-General
van der Westhuizen and Brigadier George Wassenaar.35
Although there was a common ground for the ROC and the RSA to pursue military cooperation, the fundamental divergence of interests between the two countries inhibited
the deepening of the military co-operation during 1980-1996 and eventually led to its
The divergence of interests was primarily due to four factors.
countries are geographically
national security threat.
Firstly, the two
far apart, and there was no common enemy or common
Therefore, it was difficult for the ROC and the RSA to form a
real military alliance.
Secondly, from a security point of view, the threats to national security for the two
countries were different.
The ROC is an island country.
She faced a serious external
military threat from the Chinese Communists - a real menace of seaward and airborne
military attack.
Therefore, the ROC was, and still is, primarily concerned with her air
and sea supremacy, while the army is for defence purposes.
By contrast, South Africa
is primarily a land power, and thus concerned with her landward defence.
Africa's national security threats mainly originated from internal civil resistance against
political, economic and social inequalities or injustices.
The low-level bush war in SWA
border areas and southern Angola was not a serious military threat to South Africa. The
guerrilla menace of SWAPO and the ANC was limited; even the Cuban forces stationed
in Angola
at the time dared
Furthermore, other neighbouring
not launch
a head-on
countries lacked the military capacity to pose a real
offensive military threat to South Africa.
Under these circumstances,
air defence and
sea control were not that important for the RSA. The South African Navy is smaller than
the Navy of the ROC.
South Africa phased out most of the deep-sea patrol vessels,
and built small high-speed missile-carrying vessels with limited operational radius.
the then Chief of the South African Navy, Rear-Admiral
R.A. Edwards, indicated, the
~outh African Navy was "a small ship fleet.,,36
South Africa developed a wide range of military products for landward defence purpose
such as G5 & G6 artillery systems, the Eland-90 armoured cars, Olifant tanks, Ratel-90
vehicles, the 127mm multiple Rocket launcher, the Hotnotsgod mine-detecting
the Casspir armoured personnel carrier, the Rooivalk attack helicopter, and Cactus
missile system.
This landward military equipment,
required for the ROC defence establishment.
however, was not
The defence strategy of the ROC was
different from that of the RSA. For the ROC military, the war would first be fought in the
air and on the sea, not on the ground of the densely populated island.
Naval and air
supremacy, therefore, were given priority. From the ROC's perspective, the most likely
threats from mainland China were and still are a naval blockade, low-level harassment
(such as the missile tests) and missile attack.
The PRC's deployment
of its first
generation of intercontinental
ballistic missiles (ICBM) and its testing of sea-launched
ballistic missiles (SLBM) as from the 1980s raised serious concerns in the ROC.37 The
ROC needed to upgrade its sea and air defences with modern warships, an anti-missile
defence system, warning and surveillance equipment, F-16 fighter aircrafts from the
USA and the French-built Mirage 2000 fighter planes.38 None of these armaments were
being produced by South Africa.
The divergence
of military strategies of the two countries was clearly specified by
General Pei-tsun Hau on May 2nd, 1983 when he met Commandant Piet Marais during
his trip to South Africa. Hau stated:
We are facing similar international
ground for anti-Communism.
country is different.
situations, and we share a common
But the intensity of military threat to each
At this point in time, South Africa has no credible
military threats from the sea and the air; but for the ROC, its major threats
are from the air and the sea. Therefore, the priority of the ROC defence
policy is to ensure the control of air and sea superiority.
For South Africa,
the priority of its defence policy is to focus on landward mobile fighting
power and its capability of anti-insurgency or anti-guerrilla warfare.39
The third factor of divergence was the difference of weapon systems between the two
In the 1950s and early 1960s, most of South Africa's weapon systems were
of British origin with a mixture of American aircraft; and as from 1967, the French 'DMA'
system was selected by the South African government as a model for
the development of the South African arms industry under the threat of an international
arms embargo.4o By 1972, South Africa's defence industry had made tremendous
progress in the production of defence-related
ammunition and armaments.
On April
26th, 1972, the then Minister of Defence, P.W. Botha, announced that South Africa was
absolutely self-sufficient in terms of internal demand.41 Thus, South Africa was no one's
military client. On the contrary, in order to recoup the escalating cost of developing new
weapons systems and to maintain the technological competence of its defence industry,
there was a need for South Africa to pursue arms export.
By comparison,
relying on American
military and diplomatic
support, the ROC has
always been one of the faithful military clients of the USA, because it is not allowed to
develop its own nuclear forces and arms industry.42 The ROC's weapons system was
and is still a mainly American
system, and its defence policy is firmly linked with
American security planning in East Asia. All of the American arms sales to the ROC are
controlled by the Office of Munitions Control of the Department of State of the USA.
The licensing for the sale of arms, components
s"trictly forbade
her to
and military equipment to the ROC
to the
Furthermore, although the ROC was no longer a member of the UN in the 1980s, the
ROC had no intention of violating any UN ban on arms exports to South Africa.
main consideration for the ROC military's refusal to sell American military equipment,
or even technology
to South Africa was due to the ROC leadership's
longstanding guiding principle of its defence policy that any military co-operation with
other foreign countries, including Israel, should not affect the continuance of American
arms sales to the ROC.43 It was apparent that the ROC did not want to displease, and
so disrupt, its security links with the USA. After all, the military co-operation with South
Africa was more peripheral, than vital, to the ROC.
The fourth factor was the difference of perception.
The South African government
expected the military co-operation not only to accelerate the rapid development of its
components, but also to enable Armscor to expand its arms sales to the ROC, so as to
earn foreign exchange to maintain the competitiveness
of the South African defence
In contrast, the ROC perceived the bilateral military co-operation as a means
to strengthen and safeguard the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
In other
words, the ROC emphasised the form which served merely as a means to an end, while
the RSA emphasised the substance which was expected to bring about real results for
its defence industry and big export orders from the ROC.44
Due to the above-mentioned
divergence of interests and perceptions, with the passage
of time, there was growing disillusionment
in South Africa, particularly
leadership of Armscor, with the results of the military co-operation
and the ROC.45
As the ROC was dependent
military equipment,
assured arms-supply source.
among the
between the RSA
on the USA for the supply of its
the ROC had no intention to upset its relatively
Besides the acquisition of some ammunition, torpedoes
and various electronic and avionic accessories,
the ROC was reluctant to purchase
South African arms products such as G5 and G6 artillery systems and Rooivalk attack
She preferred technology
transfers, exchange of visits and training of
In the face of PRC military threats, the ROC spent massive financial resources on
national defence.
The ROC's defence budget took up between 50.8 and 66.1 per cent
of central government
budget during
24.51 % in 1995, and 15.8% in 2000.
spending was approximately
but has decreased
On an annual average, the ROC's defence
10% of its gross national product (GNP) and over 40% of
the national budget during the period of 1970-1989.
The percentage of the defence
spending of the ROC decreased to approximately 25.3% of its total government budget
in 1993 and then to 24.2% in 1994.46 In the 1993 fiscal year, the ROC total government
expenditure was USA$71.5 billion, and the total national budget increased to USA$73.5
billion in 1994.47 In dollar terms, the ROC's defence spending was USA$18.09 billion in
1993 and USA$17.79
billion in 1994.
more than one-quarter
Military procurement
of the ROC defence
USA$4.49 billion on military procurement.
budget. 48
accounted for
In 1997, the ROC spent
From the above data, it can be seen that the
ROC is one of the biggest arms importing countries in the world.
But the ROC's
acquisition of military equipment and weapons was mainly limited to American arms and
French-made frigates and Mirage jet fighters that were sold to the ROC during 19911992.49
During 1991 and early 1992, Armscor proposed to jointly develop the Rooivalk CSH-2
Combat Support Helicopter with and sell G6/G5 systems to the ROC.
However, the
ROC indicated that it had no interest in these items, and instead, purchased American
helicopters and weapons.
The failure of marketing South African arms products to the
ROC upset relations between the two countries.
Armscor were deeply disappointed
throughout 1980-1995.
The South African government and
at the scant amount of arms sales to the ROC
For the six years from 1984 to1989, the RSA managed to sell a
mere R4.9 million worth of ammunition and components to the ROC; and during 19901995, the ROC's total military procurement from South Africa was in the region of R140
million, with ammunition being the main item. 50. The ROC increased military purchases
from the RSA to try safeguard the shaky diplomatic ties between the two countries.
According to Armscor's
statistics, the grand total of ROC military acquisitions
South Africa during the period from 1980 to 1995 was R465 million, approximately 1.5%
of the ROC's annual defence budget.51 Consequently, the leadership of Armscor was
extremely unhappy about the insignificant arms sales to the ROC and the fact that the
ROC's large contracts were not awarded to the RSA.
On May 12'h, 1992, in its
memorandum to the then President F.W. de Klerk, Armscor severely criticised ROCRSA military co-operation by bemoaning that "the RSA is getting only the crumbs from
the rich man's table.,,52 One year later, Armscor belittled the significance of the annual
ROC-RSA Defence Industry Conference as nothing but "drink drink, talk talk.,,53
By 1995, both Armscor and the SANDF were determined
military co-operation
to terminate
and establish diplomatic ties with the PRC.
This could be seen
from the following presentation made by Armscor's Foreign Procurement Manager, T.G.
Shaefer, on May 23rd, 1995 at a meeting chaired by Aziz Pahad, Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs, at the Diplomatic Guest House in Pretoria to review South Africa's
relations with the two Chinas:
has petered out to a large extent and co-
in the technological
has died down to almost
although there have been some successes
in terms of aerodynamics,
substantial involvement in recent years.
in the field of
there has been no
The armaments bought by the
ROC are relatively substantial in a South African context (R465 million),
but in relation to the ROC's defence budget, it is insignificant
1.5 per cent was accorded to South Africa).
The type of equipment
bought was never of a long-term system investment
was the main item.
(i.e. about
In comparison,
the PRC has shown
considerable interest, and Armscor already has a representative in Beijing.
Armscor has also indicated to the ROC that the six-monthly meetings in
terms of the ROC-RSA Agreement, should be winded down gradually.
In contrast, the PRC presents a huge potential, especially in the field of
exploratory visits.
is increasing
and there
have been some
Whereas the ROC declined in the past under the UN
embargo to assist Armscor to procure sensitive material, the PRC did not
refrain from assisting Armscor.
to the PRC in the past.54
Equipment of about R230 million was sold
It was apparent that Armscor was in favour of a shift in South Africa's diplomatic policy
the PRC and the termination
of the SANDF, namely Brigadier J.L. de Beer, Brigadier Groenewald
and Colonel J.L. Croukamp, also revealed that the SANDF was dissatisfied with the
ROC's failure of arms transfer. They indicated that "the ROC always kept its arms trade
with South Africa within the limitations of the UN arms embargo, and would not facilitate
access for South Africa to third countries in terms of military technology.,,55
From the SANDF's perspective,
South Africa received little benefit from the bilateral
military co-operation between the RSA and the ROC, and therefore South Africa's real
long-term interests lay with the PRC.
and the lack of substance of ROC-RSA
The PRC's international position and influence,
military co-operation in the past were cited as
main reasons for the SANDF to support the idea of establishing full diplomatic relations
with the PRC:
The PRC is very influential in the Security Council.
Even the USA is
seeking a closer relationship with the PRC although the latter perceives
the USA as a potentially major threat.
The PRC has strong ties with and
influence in Africa. Of specific interest to the SANDF is the modernization
programme of the PRC defence force which includes a vast improvement
in technological hardware and which presents an important opportunity.
There has been a great deal of "noise" from the ROC, but not much
The PRC is a major power, and the potential ties with the
PRC look very goOd.56
The "noise" mentioned above was the pledge made by the ROC in 1994 to make a
USA$40 million dollar grant available to the Service Corps of the SANDF for the
establishment of a vocational training centre as from 1995 for the training of rationalised
This project was perceived by the SANDF as an effort made by the ROC
to save its diplomatic relation with South Africa.
It was alleged that "according to the
Department of Defence, the ROC will attempt to foster military co-operation in order to
deflect South African interest in the PRC.,,5?
before the above-mentioned
meeting, the South African
already sent Lt. General Verbeek, the then Chief of Staff in charge of intelligence; Major
General Thikare, the then Deputy Chief of Staff (intelligence);
and Brigadier J.L. de
Beer, the then Director of External Affairs of the SANDF to pay a clandestine visit to
mainland China in January 1995. The main aim of this trip was to commence a process
of military contact and information exchange with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of
the PRC. After returning to Pretoria, the delegation recommended that as the RSA had
derived very little benefit from its military co-operation
with the ROC, the SANDF
regarded it of importance to build relations with the biggest military power in East Asia.
One year after the RSA had secretly established military links with the PRC in January
1995, the South African government
decided to terminate
its military co-
o'peration with the ROC and to stop its arms sales to the ROC as from September 1996.
The official decision was taken by the Cabinet meeting of the RSA on September 13th,
1996 chaired by President Mandela.
The passing of the resolution was based on No.
13 Memorandum of September 5th, 1996 (File Ref. No. OS 5/1/9B) submitted by the
Arms Control
The Chairperson
NCACC was Kader Asmal, then Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry.
The main
consideration that prompted the NCACC to request the South African Cabinet to end its
arms sales to the ROC was probably due to the concern that the continued arms sales
and military co-operation
with the ROC would have a detrimental
of South Africa's
political and economic
impact on the
relations with the
PRC.6o Strong reaction could be expected from the PRC as it regarded the sale of arms
to the ROC as interference in its own internal affairs.
The last ROC-RSA
Defence Industry Co-operation
(Armscor' s office) from May 10th to May 1ih,
From 1995 onwards,
the South African
Conference was held in Pretoria
This was the 18th Conference.
was no longer interested
continuing its military co-operation with the ROC, and by 1996, most of the original arms
sales had been terminated,
with the exception
of a small amount
ammunition which was sold to the ROC during 1996-1997.
of insensitive
Other than that, ROC-RSA
military ties have ceased to exist as have the bilateral visits of military personnel and
naval squadrons since April 1997.61
In sum, the ROC and the RSA secretly entered into an Agreement on the Co-operation
of the Defence Industries between the two countries in 1980. The ROC-RSA
co-operation lasted for 16 years from 1980 to 1996 when, in a cabinet meeting held on
September 13th, 1996, the South African government decided to terminate its military
ties with the ROC.
The geographically far-flung military co-operation came to an end
soon after the ROC naval squadron paid its last visit to South Africa in April 1997. The
ending of ROC-RSA
military co-operation was timed for the shift in the RSA's China
This section examines the development of academic, educational and socio-cultural ties
between the ROC and the RSA and their respective impacts on the two countries, as
well as the limits of the politically motivated socio-cultural relationship.
Prior to the 1970s, the ROC's academic ties with South Africa were insignificant.
t~o countries have different cultural and educational traditions.
The ROC's education
system is USA-oriented and most of the ROC university graduates choose the USA as
their destination for advanced studies.
In 1986, there were 25,660 ROC students
and colleges.52 Other favourite destinations for ROC
enrolled at USA universities
students to pursue their studies, according to statistics compiled in 1986, were Japan
(182), West Germany (103), France (80) and Britain (36).53
In 1988, over 98,000
students from the ROC went overseas for advanced education, with more than 90% of
these students being educated in the USA.54 As regards foreign students studying in
the ROC, these are mostly South Korean and American students.
In 1986, among the
3,660 foreign students at ROC institutions of tertiary education, 1,089 came from South
Korea, 747 from the USA, 610 from Japan, 367 from Indonesia,
179 from
165 from Thailand
181 from West
and 120 from the Philippines.
Overseas Chinese students are excluded from the above statistics.
Students from
these countries choose the ROC because of geographic proximity such as in the case
of Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines, or because of the existence of
the related
and the
Germany, France and the USA have entered into various governmental
and non-
governmental agreements with the ROC to provide scholarships for students from each
other's countries.55
In comparison with the ROC, the RSA's education system and cultural relations with
foreign countries before 1994 were European-oriented.
This was particularly evident in
the 1970s prior to South Africa's establishment of diplomatic relations with the ROC in
1976. The RSA's Eurocentric disposition in culture during the 1970s is reflected in its
and assignment
of cultural
in foreign
In 1975, eight foreign cultural delegations visited South Africa, and in turn,
eight South African cultural delegations went abroad; most of the destinations
of the
visits of the South African cultural delegations were European countries such as the
Netherlands, Belgium and the Federal Republic of Germany.
South Africa concluded a
number of cultural agreements, also mainly with European countries or countries with
Western culture such as the Netherlands, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany
and Paraguay.
South Africa maintained
links mostly with institutions
countries with Western heritage, viz. the academic links between the South African
Institute at Amsterdam
and the Dutch Cultural History Institute at the University of
South Africa assigned its cultural attaches to the respective embassies in
accordance with the cultural agreements.67
As a result of cultural differences,
cultural agreements,
the lack of interchange
and the void of bilateral
very few contacts occurred in the fields of education,
science and technology between the ROC and the RSA before 1976.
The year 1976 marked the beginning
between the ROC and the RSA.
of increased
cultural and academic
In April 1976, the diplomatic representation
South Africa and the ROC was elevated from that of consul-general
to ambassador.
One of the consequences of the elevation of diplomatic representation was the budding
cultural and academic
In 1976, the then ROC Deputy
Premier, Ching-chung Hsu; the then Deputy Minster of Foreign Affairs, H.K. Yang; and
the then Director of the Institute of International Relations of the ROC, Wei-ping Tsai
visited the RSA. 68
Although formal governmental
cultural agreements
had not been concluded
1976-1988, the ROC and the RSA governments made a concertered effort to initiate a
more than a decade's long process of information interchange and exchanges of visits
between the two countries.
In the course of twelve years, there was an increased
exchange of visits by cabinet ministers, high-ranking educational officials, chancellors,
vice chancellors, professors, scholars, educationists and teachers from one country to
administrators and athletes were also encouraged by the two governments to engage in
exchange visits, performances,
tours, competitions
"study tours" were
for the academics,
and social association.
and students
of the
and research
The ROC government
regularly sent its official publications such as The Republic of China Yearbook, The
Free China Journal and Free China Review to South African universities and libraries at
no cost. After 1976, the ROC's Central News Agency stationed a special correspondent
in Johannesburg to gather news items on South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa for the
mass media in Taipei.59
contacts took diverse forms.
the exact
and socio-cultural exchange programmes are not available.
is due to the fact that many such exchange programmes were conducted in a low profile
manner and no press releases were issued.
Some visits were concealed for fear that
association might be construed as violating the cultural and sports boycotts imposed by
the United Nations against South Africa and furthermore, some individual players and
visitors simply arranged their own visits with their counterparts without informing the
relevant authorities.
As a matter of fact, most of the ROC sports persons who visited
South Africa were either professional or junior players.
They were not members of the
ROC National Olympic Teams, which had to observe the regulations of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC).
The ROC National Olympic Committee affirmed its sports
boycott position and refrained from engaging South African teams at the national level
so as to avoid becoming embroiled in the international sanctions and being blacklisted
by the Special Committee Against Apartheid of the UN.70
The evidence of this can be seen from the following two historical events.
Firstly, in
January 1980, the ROC Badminton Association organised and hosted an International
Badminton tournament in Taipei. As this tournament was an international event, many
member states of the IOC were invited to send their national badminton
teams to
In order to abide by the international sports boycott, the ROC Badminton
Association, however, denied the South African national badminton team's participation
in the event by making the excuse that the submission of the South African team was
too late to be included in the tournament.
An apology was conveyed to the South
African Badminton Union to avoid hurting the South African side's feelings.71 Secondly,
in UN Special Committee Against Apartheid's report, published on October 25th, 1989
and in other related documentation, the ROC was never in violation of the international
boycotts against South Africa.
Special Committee.
These boycotts were constantly monitored by the UN
The UN Special Committee Against Apartheid's
1989 Register of
Sports Contacts with South Africa contained the names of 3,404 athletes who had
violated the international
boycotts; among them, USA sportspersons
highest number (868), followed by those of the United Kingdom (770), while those from
the ROC did not appear in the UN Registry.72 This proves the author's point that the
ROC's cultural and sports exchanges with South Africa were mainly conducted
university and college students, as well as professional and junior players.
Examples of
these exchanges include the visits made by orchestra of the University of Pretoria and
the orchestra of the University of Port Elizabeth (in 1989), the participation of four ROC
golf players
in the 1984 Western
Rondebosch, the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra's 1986 tour to Taipei, the 1986
vjsit of the University of Pretoria's rugby team to the ROC (led by Naas Botha), the 1984
tour of SA Trim Gym Association, and exchanges of various youth goodwill teams of the
two countries.
If national Olympic team players wished to visit the respective country,
they were usually advised to join the tour in their individual capacities, not as players of
national Olympic teams.73
Moreover, the two sides also ensured that the diverse cultural and sports exchanges
were implemented
in the name of different
clubs, universities,
and civic
organisations as ordinary civilian teams, not as the national teams or as governmentinvolved interchange activities.
For instance, in October 1983, the National Bowling
Operations of South Africa invited the Bowling Association of the ROC to send a 16strong bowling team to tour South Africa in February 1984. To avoid being registered
by the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid and the IOC as violating international
boycotts against South Africa, the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised the ROC
Bowling Association to dispatch its team to tour South Africa under the name of "Chu
Kuang (Light) Youth Visiting Mission", rather than "the National Bowling Team of the
ROC". The said bowling team toured South Africa from February 16 to February 28
1.984 for 12 days without confronting any protest or bad publicity by the press.
Africa was expected to do likewise.74
By exercising extreme caution and keeping a low profile, the ROC continued to maintain
academic, educational,
cultural and sports contacts with South Africa throughout the
y.ears 1976 to 1988.
During this period, a two-way educational
interchange was actively pursued.
and socio-cultural
bilateral exchanges in the fields of
academics, education, sports, art, science, medical and socio-cultural
relations were
largely motivated by the two countries' common situation of international isolation and
the desire of the ROC to utilise educational/academic and socio-cultural exchanges to
consolidate its diplomatic relations with the RSA.75 By affirming the importance of these
and various types of co-operation,
the ROC government
was heavily
involved in the process of building bridges of understanding between the ROC and the
A number of inter-governmental
in regard to academic, medical,
co-operations were concluded between
government and the RSA government.76 (For details, please see Table 9).
The conclusion of these agreements and the increased frequency of the exchange of
visits between the two countries illustrate that, as from 1979 onwards, there was a
prevalent feeling that South Africa should "start broadening its fields and international
friendships beyond the traditional ones of Europe and America.,,77
In the midst of general feelings of good faith and gradual warm friendship,
the two
governments further stepped up the bilateral contacts and the exchange of visits at all
levels - from cabinet ministers, speakers of parliaments and university rectors at the
high level to the students, artists and reporters at the low level.
Of these bilateral
the most notable visits included at the local government
and inter-
parliament level, the exchange of visits of the mayors of local governments
Speakers of the two Parliaments.
and the
In 1979, the then Speaker of the House of Assembly
of the RSA, J.J. Loots, was invited by the ROC government to pay an official visit to the
ROC from November
6th to November
18th, 1979.
In return, the then President
(Speaker) of the ROC Legislative Yuan (Parliament), Wen-ya Nieh, visited South Africa
during 10th_19th June, 1981.
The mutual visits of the two Speakers enabled the two
parliaments to have some understanding of the real situation of the other country and to
become friendlier towards each other, particularly as regards to the awkward status of
the Chinese community in South Africa.
Loots' visit not only resulted in the gradual
of the treatment of the Chinese in South Africa as from 1982 under
but also heralded the beginning
of many more such visits by
members of parliament from South Africa to the ROC. Reciprocal visits were also made
by the members of Parliament
of the ROC.
by 13 dependants,
In 1985 alone, there were 17 ROC
who visited South Africa.
exchange of visits between the two parliaments was frequent during the 1980S78
In addition
to the steady
of the ROC-RSA
relationship through exchange of visits, bilateral links between local municipalities of the
two countries were also established by the mayors and speakers of city councils.
notable case was the visit of C.P. Chang, the then Speaker of Taipei City Council, to the
city of Johannesburg to attend its centennial celebration during August 30th-September
6th, 1986. Mayors of various cities also called on their counterparts to establish sistercity relationship.
A number of mayors of ROC cities and counties such as Kaosiung,
Hsinchu, lIan, Keelung, Nantou, Taipei and Yungho visited South Africa during 19801988.79
In reciprocation, many mayors and city councillors of the local governments of
South Africa also visited the ROC during the same period.
Of these, the then Mayor of
1982; the then
P.R. Smith,
the ROC in September
Danie van Zyl, in October 1982; the then Mayor of Pretoria, S.R. van
Jaarsveld, and the then Mayor of Stellenbosch, D.E.W. Schumann, in October 1983; the
then Provincial Administrator
of the Cape, E. Gene Louw, in October 1982; the then
of Transvaal,
successive mayors of Pretoria and Johannesburg
in October
1983; other
in 1984 and in 1985; G.J. Coetzer,
the then Mayor of Queenstown, in September 1987; and J.M. Pretorius, the then Mayor
of Bloemfontein, in October 1987. The then Governor of Taiwan Province, Lee Tenghui, also visited South Africa in November 1982.80
In the academic and educational field, the period 1980-1988 saw an intense desire
among leading academics and educationists to explore the possibilities for academic
and educational co-operation
between the ROC and the RSA.
The quest for such
in particular between the institutions of tertiary education, can be seen
from the exchanges of academics and educationists.
The ROC's traditional trend of no
academic contact with South Africa was reversed, and the ROC became, instead, very
keen to develop bilateral academic/educational
exchanges with South Africa as from
This is indicated by the frequency of the exchange of visits of high-ranking
officials and academics of various universities
to establish
either "sister" relationships
and colleges of the two
with their counterparts,
or a co-
operative mechanism for the exchange of teachers and students and joint research.
To this end, the then Minister of Education of the RSA, P.J. Clase, visited the ROC in
July 1980, and the then Director-General of the Department of National Education of the
RSA, J.J. van Wyk, visited the ROC in November 1980. Many South African academics
visited the ROC during
Daniel Du Plessis, then Vice Chancellor
Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand
in October 1980; C. Garbers, the then
President of Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), in July 1982; F.T. van
Wijk, the then Vice Chancellor and Principal of UNISA, in October 1982; D.M. Joubert,
the then Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, in March 1983; M.
de Vries, the then Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Stellenbosch
October 1983; T. Van der Walt, the then Vice Chancellor and Principal of Potchefstroom
University, in October 1984; Jacob van der Westhuizen, then Director of the Institute for
Criminology of UNISA, in December 1987; the Student Representative Delegation of the
University of Pretoria in June 1988; R.E. van der Ross, the then Rector and Vice
Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, in June 1988; W.L. Mouton, the then
Rector of the University of the Orange Free State, in October 1988; and R.W. Charlton,
the then Vice Chancellor
and Principal of the University
of the Witwatersrand,
November 1988.81 Apart from the above bilateral visits of academics of the ROC and
the RSA, the Ministers of Education of the two countries also exchanged visits.
then Minister of National Education of the RSA, F.W. de Klerk, visited Taipei in October
1985, and the ROC's then Minister of Education, Lee Huan, visited South Africa in May
During the period 1987-1990,
activities was heightened
by the two sides.
of academic/educational
In the year of 1987, the University of
alone sent three delegations to visit the ROC: one was led by P.R. de
Wet, the then Director of Student Affairs in March 1987; the second was the 23-p'erson
SRC Delegation of the University of Stellenbosch led by De Vries from March 25th to
April 4th, 1987; and the third was led by S.J.P. (Faan) Oosthuizen, the then Head of
Central Media Centre and Deputy Director of the Bureau for University and Continuing
Education of the University of Stellenbosch,
The acceleration
1987 -1990 was attributable
from November
to two factors.
1ih to December 4th,
and cultural interactions during
One was South Africa's
international pariah status after 1986. The other was the renewed action on the part of
the ROC government to reinvigorate the ROC-RSA academic/educational
co-operations so as to strengthen its diplomatic links with South Africa.
and cultural
On June 19th,
1989, the ROC government and the RSA government signed a cultural agreement in
Pretoria for accelerated
scientific, sports, educational
in the fields of cultural,
and technical activities.
According to Article 3 of this
agreement, "the citizens of both countries shall be encouraged
to study and attend
training courses in the other country, and to support the exchange of youth groups,
and scientific
with a view to
promoting cultural co-operation and contact between the two countries.,,84
In order to facilitate the bilateral educational/academic
and cultural co-operation,
Ministry of Education (MOE) of the ROC established an Office of the Cultural Counsellor
in Pretoria in July 1990. The first Cultural Counsellor was Edward Chien-kun Yeh, who
was succeeded by Oar-sheng Liu in 1994. With the bilateral cultural agreement and the
ROC Office of the Cultural Counsellor in place, the ROC-RSA
exchange programmes were further expanded after 1990. Many prominent academics
from various South African universities such as the Universities of Pretoria, Medunsa,
Vista, Witwatersrand,
Fort Hare, Western Cape and UNISA as well as the Peninsula
had been invited to visit the ROC.
visited the ROC during 1990-1996.
Rector of the Peninsula Technikon,
institutions in 1993.
Of these, Franklin Sonn, the then
contacts with the ROC's technical
S. Bengu, prior to his inauguration as the first black Minister of
Education in the government of National Unity (GNU) of South Africa on May 10th, 1994,
visited the ROC while he was the Rector of Fort Hare University.
A number of high-
ranking officials and educationists from the Department of Education and Culture, the
Certification Council for Technikon Education, the Transvaal Education Department and
other educational institutions in South Africa were also invited to visit the ROC during
A great number of reciprocal visits was made by the ROC academics and educationists
to the RSA during this period.
Among these visits, noteworthy ones included those of
the ROC Deputy Minister of Education and three members of the Vocational
who were
by the South African
Department of Education and Culture to visit the RSA during 1990-1991.
The Director
oJ the ROC National History Museum and many Taiwanese civil engineers and scholars
came to South Africa to test the feasibility of academic/educational
In the social-cultural
a similar
of frequent
between the ROC and the RSA occurred during the years 1980 until 1996. This period
s.aw the two governments,
in particular the ROC government,
as indicated in the
preceding part of this chapter, trying hard to bridge the cleavage between the two
different societies, so as to sustain the faltering
between Taipei and Pretoria.
The ROC government exerted itself to strengthen the
for the sending
of various
groups to visit South Africa.
The ROC government's
on its diplomatic
and social-cultural
by allocating
and cultural
primary aim in implementing
was largely based
need and, to a lesser extent, the demands of overseas
The plans were mostly short-term
and no real long-term
plan ever
The ROC's state intervention was, for example, reflected in the allocation of
ROC governmental funds for sending cultural and music troupes to South Africa. When
the ROC was maintaining
diplomatic relations with the RSA, the ROC government
would budget approximately
NT$10 million (equivalent to R2 million) to send youth
goodwill teams to visit South Africa to stage or to attend the International Eisteddfod at
Other socio-cultural exchanges between the two countries were carried
out in a similar manner. Most of the ROC-RSA interchange activities were governmentsponsored
or funded
by the ROC public money of various
individuals seldom took the initiative to engage in the strengthening
of the ROC-RSA
links, with the exception of a few students who pursued their studies in
each others' countries.
As a result of the ROC government's active intervention, financial support and fervent
16 ROC cultural groups came to South Africa either to stage cultural
or to conduct arts exhibitions during 1990-1997.
sport teams participated
In addition, 12 ROC
in a variety of sport events during this period.
National Museum of History entered into a sister relation agreement with the Museum of
Culture and History in Cape Town.
87 ROC students per year studied
either short-term language courses or regular courses at South African universities or
Moreover, from 1993 to 1996, the ROC government
through the ANC Youth League, to 230 disadvantaged
youth scholarships,
black students to study in
various South African tertiary educational institutions including universities, colleges and
In 1994, the amount for scholarships granted by the Office of the Cultural
Counsellor of the ROC Embassy in Pretoria was R232,644, and in 1995, the figure
increased to R274,365.
scholarship scheme each year.
55 black students benefited from the youth
The total amount for scholarships spent during 1993-
1996 was R1, 180,094.87
In addition,
the ROC government handed over an educational grant of R25 million in
mid-July 1996 to the South African government for the betterment of South Africa's
overall education.88
Special scholarships were also offered to seven South African
students to study Mandarin Chinese language in Taipei for one to two
Among these, five students were from the University of the Witwatersrand
two from the University of Durban-Westville.
studies on East Asia.
Most of the students intended to pursue
The ROC government's
special scholarship
enabled them to have not only Mandarin training, but also personal exposure to East
Asia which was helpful to their future research and career development.89
legacy of positive achievements,
ROC-RSA academic/educational
and socio/cultural links during 1976-1997 left a
but also limitations.
On the achievement
side, the
exchanges resulted in the establishment of more than
eleven sister relations between South African universities and their ROC counterparts.90
(For details, see Table 10).
the establishment
of sister relations,
i(lstitutional exchange programmes were organised to advance mutual co-operation and
to share research expertise.
In addition to these sister relationships, various South African universities also set up
East Asia
of South
established its Centre for Contemporary Asian Studies in February 1989, and from 1990
onwards, Mandarin Chinese was offered by the Centre as a UNISA distance teaching
The Centre not only promoted research on East Asia, but also provided a
series of audio visual programmes, video tapes and slide shows for interested persons,
diplomats and government
officials on a variety of subjects including
Chinese dance, music, painting and literature, as well as lectures on Asian business
methods and general economic
language course focused on giving a firm grounding in conversational
basic grasp of Chinese characters.
The Centre's
Mandarin and a
The course was suitable for beginners who wished
to have some understanding of the culture and civilisation of China and its neighbouring
T-he University of Stellenbosch and the University of the Witwatersrand
of the research on East Asian politics and economics.
undertook most
The Department of Political
Science of the University of Stellenbosch, under the leadership of Philip Nel, received
USA$100,OOO from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to launch a research project of
Chinese Studies for the duration of three years from 1996 to 1999.92
Under the
auspices of this research project, scholars such as Ian Taylor, a doctoral candidate in
the Department of Political Science, University of Stellenbosch,
were able to publish
articles relating to the PRC's foreign policy and East Asian situation in various journals
e.g. Journal of Commonwealth
(Taipei).93 Arrangements
il}cluding Yeong-kuang
& Comparative Politics (London) and Issues & Studies
were also made for several academics from Taiwan, ROC
Ger of the National Taiwan University, to visit South Africa in
The Department
of International
of the University
of the Witwatersrand
established the East Asia Project (EAP) in 1992 with funding to promote a greater
awareness and understanding
of East Asia.
The aim of the EAP was, through "its
teaching and research programme", to "educate South Africans as to the complexities of
the Asian political, economic and social environment and, concurrently,
capacity and knowledge in all aspects of the study of the International
develop local
Relations of
Asia.,,94 The EAP was funded by private donations, and thus maintained its political and
administrative independence.95 Chris Alden and Garth Shelton were responsible for the
co-ordination of the research programme.
The EAP publishes its own Working Paper
Series, in which a number of research reports on topics relevant to East Asia have
The above-mentioned
by the various
South African
sister relations and research
not only promoted
research and studies on East Asia, but also aroused a few scholars' interest in the field
of Asian studies.
It was through these scholars' articles or academic works that the
South African scholastic community was able to have a better understanding
of the
situation in East Asia.
As regards inter-relations
between cities and provinces, by the end of October 1990,
eight ROC cities had established
ties with their counterparts
in South
The list of ROC cities that twinned with the relevant cities of South Africa
during 1980-1997 is shown as Table 11.
Apart from the existence of sisterhood ties between various cities in the ROC and in the
RSA, a Sister-Province
Agreement was also entered into by the then Governor of the
~aiwan Provincial government,
Province, D.J. Hough.97
Lien Chan, and the then Administrator
of Transvaal
The signing of the above sister-city agreements
the doors for local government
and sisterto visit the
respective countries in the name of sisterhood ties. The exchange of visits between the
officials of the local governments
of the two countries enhanced the officials' mutual
understanding of the culture and situation of the other country.
Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, there was a mood of genuine
goodwill between the two countries in the people-to-people
during 1976-
1997. South Africa had really won the ROC nation's heart. The RSA was considered
the largest diplomatic ally and most important trading partner in Africa.
devoted much of its attention to South Africa, and even the opposition
party, namely the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was deeply impressed by the
of South Africa's
When the ROC
government lavished massive diplomatic expenditure on maintaining its diplomatic links
with South Africa, the ROC people were behind the government.
~he ROC's second Armed Forces Attache in Pretoria, Colonel Tang Fei, and its former
Economic Counsellor, P.K. Chiang, voluntarily formed a "Protea Club" in Taipei in 1982,
when they returned from South Africa to the ROC, to organise annual get-together
functions for those who had been to South Africa for work or studies and also to
promote friendly relations with South Africa.
The "Protea Club" has more than five
hundred members at present, some of whom have played prominent roles in the ROC
political and military arenas.
For example, Colonel Tang Fei later became General
Tang, and held the positions of Commander-in-Chief
of the ROC Air Forces, Minister of
Defence, as well as Premier (Prime Minister) (May-October
2000).99 P.K. Chiang was
successively promoted to the Director-General of the ROC Board of Foreign Trade, Vice
Minister of Economic Affairs, Minister of Economic Affairs and Minister (Chairman) for
Economic Planning and Development.
Among the members of the "Protea Club", there
were 3 generals (including General Tang), 6 ministers or minister-rank officials, 3 vice
ministers, 10 ambassadors
or ambassador-rank
(the ROC's unofficial
distinguished scholars. The potential influence of the members of the "Protea Club" can
hot be underestimated.
This corps d'elite of the ROC was far more sympathetic to the
idea of maintaining strong links with South Africa.
The legacy of historical friendship
and human goodwill hidden in various invisible corners of the ROC society was the
most important achievement of the ROC-RSA diplomatic links for the past two decades.
If the South African government could tap this human goodwill in time, the prospect of
maintaining cordial relations between the RSA and the ROC remains optimistic.
However, following the presidential election of March 18th, 2000 which brought an end
to the fifty-year
rule of Kuomintang
(KMT) and saw the rise of the pro-Taiwan-
DPP, the political landscape of the ROC is changing fast.
the above-mentioned
Members of
elite who are sympathetic to the cause of cementing strong ROC-
RSA links are fading away with the passage of time or are about to retire in due course
from public life.
The three most important ROC ambassadors
who had made great
contributions in forging and defending the maintenance of cordial ROC-RSA relations namely Edward Y. Kuan (1976-79), H.K. Yang (1979-89) and I-cheng Loh (1990-1997)
- have either passed away or bowed out of the ROC political arena. Tang resigned the
premiership in October 2000.
P.K. Chiang also lost his power to the DPP during the
March 2000 presidential election. Others of the elite who have had vast experience with
South Africa in the past may soon face a similar fate. The younger generation, unlike
the generation of the post-Cold War elite, are more concerned with the ROC's domestic
economy, its cross-Taiwan
Straits relations and security links with the USA than its
international engagement in the remote African continent.101 The passage from the proSouth Africa old generation to the younger generation of political elite in the ROC will
mark a major departure from the historical epoch of ROC-RSA
rapport during 1976-
Even if the ROC's political landscape had not changed, the attempts of the ROC
government to deepen ROC-RSA academic/educational
1976-1997 had insurmountable
and cultural/social links during
The endeavour was beset with three major
problems. The first is that the two cultures are fundamentally too different to be bridged
in a relatively short time span.
Until 1990, the cultural policy of the South African
mainly on Eurocentrism,
dominated by white South Africans.
and the cultural affairs were largely
For decades, South African cultural identity bore
the characteristics of European culture. Against this background, the value of all South
African cultural expressions during the 1970s-1980s was measured against European
There was a common assumption that Western music, dance, literature and
fine arts were better than those of the Third World.102
I~]erk's opening
in Parliament
After 1990, following F.W. de
release of Nelson Mandela and the lifting of the ban on all unlawful
organisations, the international community gradually started to lift the cultural boycott
against South Africa.
As from January
1991, several international
cultural groups
including an 18-strong Lambada group from Brazil, the Romanian State Circus and the
first Russian film festival group, began to visit South Africa.103
The end of cultural
isolation cleared the ground for South Africa to gradually become a normal African state
which finds its cultural roots in both European and African traditions.
As South Africa
moves towards a full democracy, its cultural identification with Africa and the West has
been acknowledged to be the focal points of its cultural development.
Under such socio-cultural circumstances, most South Africans are simply not interested
in Chinese cultural performances or Chinese culture.
This is partially due to the great
cultural divide and partially because of the unfamiliarity of the ROC culture.105
majority of South Africans incline more towards African culture or the historically more
familiar cultures of Europe and North America.106
Some might be impressed by East
Asia's economic success; but apart from that, East Asian civilisation is perceived as a
kind of mystery.
East Asia.
It will take time for the average South African to accept the culture of
For example, in 1997, the then ROC Consulate-General
in Durban devoted
~ great deal of effort to arrange for a well-known Taiwanese Christian cultural group,
namely Va-tung Drama Troupe, to perform in Durban North on May 17'h. To the group's
great disappointment, only four South Africans attended the performance - the pastor of
Durban North Baptist Church, the deacon of the said Church who was responsible for
the circulation of invitation letters, and another white South African couple.
The rest of
the audience was made up of local Chinese residents and the officials of the ROC
in Durban.10B
Similar situations
marked other Chinese cultural
Chinese festivals and dragon-boat
Very few South
Africans bother to participate in traditional Chinese cultural activities.
The people from
the ROC also chose to do things their own way. They live in a distinctly different world.
The two cultures lack convergence and acculturation despite the bridge built between
the ROC and the RSA. At the end of the day, the two nations failed to draw on the best
practices and values from each other's rich civilisations.
The second problem is the language barrier. The teaching media and official language
in the ROC is Mandarin, while English and Afrikaans are the most important of South
Africa's eleven official languages.
To master the language of Mandarin, especially its
four intonations and written characters, is fairly difficult.
As a result of the language
barrier, very few South African students dared to embrace the opportunities provided by
the ROC. This is why, in 1992, no South African student accepted the ROC bursary to
study in Taiwan despite the goodwill of the ROC government, which had made five such
bursaries available to South African students on an annual basis as from 1992 until
1997 to promote educational exchanges and strengthen cultural ties between the ROC
and the RSA,109 Between 1992 and 1997, only 7 South African students had been to
the Mandarin Training Centre of the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei to
study Mandarin for one year and then pursue their East Asian studies for one further
year. 110
The third problem
is that the ROC-RSA
and socio/cultural
exchanges during 1976-1997 were basically government-controlled,
not people-driven.
The ROC's educational/academic
part of the multi-dimensionality
and socio/cultural
of ROC diplomacy.
links with South Africa were just
In other words, the endeavour was
just another aspect of the ROC's multifaceted pragmatic foreign policy which was
politically/diplomatically motivated in essence.111 This is shown from the remarks made
by the ROC's former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Fredrick F. Chien, and the former
Premier of the ROC, Lien Chan, during their terms of office.
Premier Lien indicated
The fact is that 29 nations maintain full diplomatic
While observing the obligations
and enjoying the benefits of
if not political, relationships
relations with our
with a much larger group of
These less formal relationships are of several types: economic,
cultural, scientific and philanthropic.112
In upgrading substantive ties with those countries without formal ties with
us, we have increased economic, scientific-technical,
cultural and tourist
At the present time, we have relations of this type in more than
120 countries, with main focus on the United States, Europe, Japan and
Southeast Asia.113
It is clear that the ROC government's efforts in launching the drive of educational and
cultural ties with South Africa were aimed at strengthening
As Chien emphasised, "breakthroughs
in our foreign relations will have to
come through battle with the Chinese Communists internationally.,,114
In brief, due to the above-mentioned three factors, the ROC-RSA academic/educational
and socio-cultural ties did not get off the ground.
South African cities and their counterparts
The sisterhood ties between various
in the ROC exist merely in name.
1996, most of the afore-mentioned
sister cities have not been actively
implementing bilateral interactions and socio-cultural exchanges.115 Expectations that
these ties would bring the two nations closer were not met. In terms of hard results, the
were limited.
Although the bilateral academic/educational
and socio-
cultural contacts during 1976-1997 helped to break down the walls of mutual ignorance,
the great divide between the two societies remains insurmountable.
During the period 1976-1997,
apart from close diplomatic,
and nuclear
relations, the ROC and the RSA also developed co-operative relationship in the military,
academic, educational,
sports and socio-cultural
started to seek military, academic/educational
The ROC and the RSA
and socio-cultural
1976. In 1977, the two countries exchanged military attaches.
operation between Taipei and Pretoria commenced
co-operation as from
But the real military co-
from March 11th, 1980 when a
secret military co-operation agreement was signed by the two Prime Ministers at Cape
Town, and ended in 1996.
academic, educational,
sports and socio-
cultural ties were mainly developed in the 1980s, peaked in the first half of the 1990s,
and dissipated at the end of 1996.116
Contrary to some long-held notions, military co-operation
between the ROC and the
RSA was not simply due to the international isolation and "pariahtude" of the two
countries.117 The nature of ROC-RSA military co-operation was, in fact, based mainly
on diplomatic,
and pragmatic
For the ROC, its military
G.ollaboration with South Africa was not intended as a means to form a "Fourth World" or
"Fifth World" of pariah States,118 nor "to escape from its pariah status."119 As the Taiwan
Relations Act of the USA has guaranteed the ROC against the PRC's armed aggression
by authorising
the USA government
to provide the ROC with necessary
weapons, the ROC, unlike South Africa in the 1980s, did not suffer arms embargoes.
So long as the ROC did not offend the USA, arms supply was never a serious problem
for the ROC. Aside from the ROC's relatively assured security commitments and arms
sales, there was the wide divergence
of national conditions, which constrained
of the two countries' full military co-operation.
The two states' defence
strategies were different. Therefore, Armscor's military products such as the G5 and G6
artillery systems and the Casspir armoured personnel carrier were not suitable for the
ROC's defence need.12o The ROC's weapons system was mostly of American origin,
and the selling to a third country was not allowed. 121
The most serious dividing line was that the expectations of the two countries were also
totally different.
The RSA expected to attain, through the ROC-RSA
military co-
operation, sensitive American military technology and to expand its arms sales to the
wealthy ROC. All of these hopes were dashed.
In order not to break the rules of the
USA arms sales and violate the UN arms embargo, the ROC refused to assist South
Africa to obtain military technology from third countries.122 Over a decade and a half,
the RSA's arms sales to the ROC was disappointedly scanty in terms of the ROC's total
defence budget.123 From the ROC's perspective, the ROC-RSA military co-operation
was simply a means to strengthen its diplomatic ties with South Africa.
as an instrument to a much higher strategic end - to safeguard
exchange know-how and visits of personnel,
navies and air forces of the two countries.124
It served merely
its diplomacy,
and to effect bilateral training for the
As a result of the above-mentioned
differences, South Africa was disappointed by the
result of the ROC-RSA
South African government
military co-operation.
In September
passed a cabinet resolution
1996, the
to terminate
military co-operation with the ROC and to stop its arms sales to the ROC as from
September 1996.125
In the sphere of sports interactions, although there was a frequent exchange of visits
between various sports teams of the two countries, the ROC avoided dispatching its
national teams to compete with their South African counterparts.
to accept the national
The ROC also
sports teams of South Africa to compete
in the
international tournaments that were hosted by the ROC's sports authorities, so as to
abide by the rules of the International Olympic Committee.126 The ROC-RSA sports
interchanges were not particularly significant because of the fact that the ROC has
never been a great sporting nation.
Baseball, basketball and Chinese martial arts are
very popular in the ROC, but rugby and cricket are not. However, rugby, cricket and
soccer are South Africa's favourite sports.127 The RSA's sports contact with the ROC
did not help South Africa to make a meaningful breakthrough in its international sports
South Africa could only normalise its sports relations once the South African
government started to abolish its apartheid policies and build a non-racial democratic
As regards
and socio-cultural
links, a framework
of inter-
governmental co-operative agreements and sister relations between various universities
of the ROC and their RSA counterparts were established during 1976-1997.
ROC local
city governments and the Taiwan Provincial government forged sisterhood ties with a
number of South African city councils and the former Transvaal Province.129
~Iite who had served or studied in South Africa also formed a very influential "Protea
Club" in Taipei
to promote
and the reunion
of old
Some of the members of the "Protea Club" became prominent figures
in the ROC government and its Foreign Service. This elite group was more sympathetic
to the idea of maintaining
recognition of the PRC.
cordial relations with South Africa despite South Africa's
In a true sense, the ROC elite's in-depth understanding
South Africa and the human good-will that accumulated during the course of the ROCRSA bilateral engagement are some of the most important achievements of the ROCRSA social interactions.
However, owing to the fundamental
of the two cultures, the language
barrier, the lack of real interest, and the lack of grass-roots support, the ROC-RSA
The ROC's main focus is on the USA, Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia,
and the RSA focuses on the West and Africa. 130 The efforts made by the two countries
to establish academic/educational
and socio-cultural ties were of limited achievement.
The studies of this chapter proved part of the hypothesis pertaining to the limits of a
"Pariah International" expounded by Robert E. Harkavy, a Senior Research Fellow of
Cornell University, to be correct.
The unstable relationship between the ROC and the
RSA substantiates Harkavy's argument that "small-state alliance have historically been
of questionable value" and that "the pariahs can be uneasy bedfellows at best, since
c.lose relations with anyone
of them constitutes
an overall international
However, some of the myths about the ROC's violation of international arms embargo
and the ROC-RSA pariah alliance have been proved to be unfounded. 132
In short, the ROC pursued a diplomacy of multidimensionality
including military, cultural,
towards South Africa to safeguard the full diplomatic ties.
Although its aim was to
defend its own national interests, the ROC's behaviour towards
South Africa was
to the RSA, 1-
basically pragmatic and "correct.,,133 The ROC's former Ambassador
cheng Loh, had this to say:
The ROC, unlike South Africa or Israel, has done nothing wrong.
1976, our relations
have been correct.
We have broken
no arms
embargo; we have violated no oil embargo.
We buy our arms even elsewhere.134
We have no oil ourselves.
tp~MVibJEgf*, (The Agreements between the ROC and the RSA),
~Wi¥J?FjHO~~WiI~ft{'FViba~(The Agreement on Defence Industries' Co-operation between
TLO Archives, Pretoria:
the RSA and the ROC), March 111h,1980, pp.1-6.
Feldman, Kau, & Kim, Taiwan in a TIme of Transitjon, p.148.
Government Information Office, ROC, *H!Hm2't:~I\+='¥EfIDfiJ!m (Anthology of President Lee
Teng-hui's Speeches), p.242.
Feldman, Kau, & Kim, Taiwan in a Time of Transition, p.149.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: The Agreement on Defence Industries' Co-operation, p.3.
Geldenhuys, Isolated States, p.504.
Ibid., pp.504-505.
Adelman, -Israel/South Africa: The Club of Pariahs· in Africa Report, Vol. 25, No.6, NovemberDecember 1980, p.10. See also G. St.J. Barclay, -Strategy of Despair: South Africa and the
Alignment ofthe Alienated, 1974-82· in Journal for Contemporary History, December 1982, Vol. 7, No.
2, pp.2-11 for RSA-Israel military co-operation.
The Sunday Independent, June 23rd, 1996 (Apartheid South Africa had secret dealings with
communist China, says businessman).
Adelman, -Israel/South Africa·, p.10.
Barber & Barratt, South Africa's Foreign policy, p.237.
K. Adelman, -Israel/South Africa·, p.10.
Interview with Cmdr. Cheng-wu Chen, the ROC Naval Attache in the RSA, on December 2nd, 1999 at
847 Thomas Ave., Arcadia, Pretoria.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: The ROC Armed Forces Attache's Report on the ROe-RSA Military Cooperation, July 41h, 1995, No. 07042, p.4.
Ibid., ~~~Wi~~
(The visit of Premier Sun to the RSA), Vol. 2, P.W. Botha's speech delivered
during a state banquet at the Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, on March 12th, 1980, p.2.
General M. Malan's address to the SAR&H War Services Union, on October 2P', 1988, Pretoria, in
South African Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 14, 1988-1989, pp.242-243.
Interview with Cmdr. Cheng-wu Chen, the ROC Naval Attache in the RSA, on December 2nd, 1999.
The Republic of China Yearbook, 1996, p.125.
A. Du TOit,South Africa's Fighting Ships' Past and present, p.180.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the
Government of the Republic of China on the Co-operation of ROe-RSA Defence Industries, March
111h, 1980, p.3, which is collected in TLO Archives, Pretoria: tp~~WiI~ftf'FHiI~tmfl'"
Briefings on ROe-RSA Co-operation of Defence Industries).
Ibid., pp.3-5.
Ibid., p.5.
Ibid., The Briefings on ROe-RSA Co-operation of Defence Industries, p.5.
Agreement (Minutes) of Thirteenth Defence Industry Co-operation Conference Between the RSA and
the ROC, No 11, June 16th, 1990, pp.4, 14 & 17. The said minutes are collected in TLO Archives,
+l1B,ijjtp~~WiI~fta~ (The 13th and 14th ROC/RSA Defence IndUstry Cooperation Conferences).
Agreement (Minutes) of Eighteenth Defence Industry Co-operation Conference Between the RSA and
the ROC, May 12th, 1995, p.29.
Ibid. p.28.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: -fLJ\fL~~-Ml1B~tp3€.$ft{'FWXU*
(The Result of ROe-RSA
Military Co-operation, 1989-1994): ~~.1:JWi~*1t~t (The Statistics ofthe visits ofthe ROC Military).
TLO Archives, Pretoria: The ROC Embassy's Report on Premier Sun's visit to the RSA, April 8th,
1980, No.0260, pp.26-28.
Gen. Pei-tsun Hau O'fl!3*Sf't), I\MB:R B ijc (The Diary of the Eight Years as the Chief of General
.staff) , p.317.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: -fL/\fL1:f.~-fLfLlm1:f.tp~1fl$~f'F&3(~*
(The ROe-RSA Military
Co-operation and Its Outcome, 1989-1994): ~1fl.1:JW5r~~mMCgt(The Statistics of the Visits of South
African Military Personnel to the ROC).
Ibid., jiMffi~ (Political Warfare Course): 9f.3(~;1F?Jtl~ 1989.3.28 B~mltti~~~raf'F~~m
M~ (MOFA's correspondence to MOD, No. 0506), March 28th, 1989, pp.1-2.
S A Digest, January 23rd, 1981 (Taiwan Medal).
L. H. Gann, "The USSR, The West and South Africa" in the ISSUP Strategic Review, September
1984, p.23.
P. Godwin, "Towards a New Strategy?", in G. Segal & W. T. Tow (eds.) Chinese Defence Policy, p.37.
M. Gurtov & B. M. Hwang, China's Security, p.270.
General Pei-tsun Hau (9N5*Sf't) , 1\[email protected]:R B ijc (The Diary of the Eight Years as the Chief of
General Staft), p.316.
J.P. McWilliams, Armscor South Africa's Arms Merchant, pp.17-18.
Ibid., p.21.
United Daily News, January 5th, 2000, p.12 (T*f$im#OjitfJ/J\~~Ri:t~ / D. Dean alleged that
Taiwan tested small nuclear devices).
General Pei-tsun Hau, The Diar:yof the Eight Years as the Chief of Ger1eralStaff, pA07.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: tp~mltti~~f'FU.~
(ROe-RSA Co-operation on Defence Industries):
The ROC Embassy's telex to MOFA no. 166, March 30th, 1995, p.1.
Chao-yung Hsueh, "The Political Economy of Defence Spending: Implications for TMD in Taiwan" in
Issues & Studies, Vol. 35, No.5, September/October 1999, ppA8-49.
The Republic of China Yearbook 1996, p.171.
Hsueh, "The Political Economy of Defence Spending", p.51.
South African Chinese Newspaper, January 28th, 2000, p.10 (Taiwan's arms procurement: the highest
in the world).
TLO Archives, Pretoria: tp~mltti~~fnt.~
(ROe-RSA Co-operation on Defence Industries):
The ROC Embassy's telex to MOFA No. 166, March 30th, 1995, p.2; and the official dispatch No.
2769 sent from the ROC Deputy Chief of the General Staff for Logistics, Ministry of Defence, to
Ambassador I-cheng Loh, dated April 21st, 1995, p.5.
Ibid., The Minutes of the Meeting on the RSA's interests in the Greater China region, held on May 23rd,
1995, at the Diplomatic Guest House, Pretoria, pA.
Ibid., The ROC Embassy's telex to MOFA No. 166, p.3.
Ibid., p.2.
Ibid., The Minutes of the meeting of May 23rd, 1995, pA.
Ibid., p.3.
Ibid., pp.3-4.
Ibid., p.3.
Ibid., Report of the ROC Military AttacM in Pretoria to the Ministry of Defence, Taipei, on February
28th, 1995, p.1.
National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), the RSA Cabinet Memorandum No. 13,
September 5th, 1996, Cape Town, File Ref. No. OS 5/1/9B. Collected in TLO Archives, Pretoria: tp~
Co-operation on Defence Industries), pp.1-3.
Ibid., NCACC, the RSA Cabinet Memorandum No. 13, September 5th, 1996, p.3.
Free China Review, Vol. 38 (7), July 1988, p.8.
Republic of China Yearbook 1988, p.279.
Ministry of Education of the ROC, Education in the Republic of China, 1984, Taipei, pA8.
Republic of China Yearbook 1988, p.384.
South Africa, 1977' Official Yearbook of the Republic of South Africa, pp,721-722.
South Africa 1977, p.873, See also TLO Archives, ROC-RSA Exchange of Visits, Vol.1, 1976 List of
See The Chinese World Almanac, 1995, pp,1006-1007 (Report on the RSA),
TLO Archives, Pretoria: 68,7-69,9~{tf: (The Confidential Files During July 1979-Sep.1980):MOFA's
telex No. 442, December 17"', 1979, pp.1-2.
The General Assembly of the United Nations, Report of the Special Committee Against Apartheid,
October 25th, 1989, p,53.
TLO Archives, Pretoria, MOFA's telex No. 768, dated August 14th, 1984. It was clearly stated in this
telex that the ROC was not in a position to compete with the South African national teams in the
sports items of the IOC games,
Ibid.: 3t1tm"ffxmt~,1981-1989 (ROC-RSA Cultural and Sports Exchanges, 1981-1989), MOFA's
telex No, 650 dated January 22nd, 1984; and the letter of Roy Menachemson, Managing Director of
SA National Bowling Operations, addressed to H. K. Yang, the ROC Ambassador, dated January 30th,
Ibid" tp3€iI&~l[w~([g) (ROC-RSA Exchange of Visits, Vol. 4), tpm~mi&~F?JfI!I!!~~Wl1t.jUj
&lk3 (The Resolutions and Discussion Points of the Conference of Heads of Missions, August 10th,
1978), pp,3-4.
Ibid., tp3€f~f-3~~Hf~~ (Agreements between South Africa and the ROC), pp.1-3.
The Citizen, November 13th, 1979 (Taiwan to boost contacts with SA).
TLO Archives, Pretoria: tp3€il&~l[w~([g) (ROC-RSA Exchange of Visits, Vol. 4), m~F.~itmw
(The Report and Programme for the Visit of the Speaker of House of Assembly of
the RSA and Mrs. J.J. Loots to the ROC), No. 23015, 29/11/1979, pp.1-2. See also iI&~l[w~
(ROC-RSA Exchange of Visits, July 1985-Nov. 1986), ROC Embassy'S Note No. 74-702, July 5th,
1985, p.1.
Ibid., ~~l1t~~
(Co-ordination Conferences), ~m-t+-t~J\.fJ
J\'~[gfJ ffi$1m~F~.fll~~
l1t~*c~ (The Minutes of Co-ordination Conferences, August 1988-April 1989), Minutes of 171
meeting, p.4 and Minutes of 172 meeting, p.3.
Ibid., iI&~l[w~ (ROC-RSA Exchange of Visits, July 1985-November 1986), AppendiX - A List of
Recent Exchange of Visits.
Ibid., ~"ff(~~w.) (Education: Visits of South African Academics to the ROC), MOFA's official
dispatch to MOE, No. 77322310, dated September 7"',1988, pp.1-2.
Ibid., ~~f§B~w3€~ (The Visit of the ROC Minister of Education to the RSA), the ROC Embassy's
official dispatch No. 390, dated April 16th , 1987, p.1.
Ibid., m~FA±w.~(-)
(The Visits of South African Academics II), MOE's official dispatch to Sun
Yat-sen University and the ROC Embassy, No. 54453 dated November 11th, 1987, p.1.
Ibid., tp3€3tft~~ (Agreement between the Government of the ROC and the Government of the
RSA Relating to Cultural Matters), June 19th, 1989, p.6, Article 3.
T. Sono, From the East· Lessons from Taiwan for South Africa, p.74.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: .nm~FR~3tftMI.~~JIj~ (Briefings of the Cultural Division of the TLO in
the RSA), December 10th, 1999, pp.3-5.
Ibid., p.6.
Interview with Dr. Oar-sheng Liu, Chief of Cultural Division of the TLO in the RSA, Pretoria,
December 17"', 1999.
Ibid., See also M.J. Davies' personal letter to the author dated April 24th, 2001. In the letter, Davies
indicated that his academic research in Taiwan was "both academically productive and personally
T. Sono, From the East· Lessons from Taiwan for South Africa, pp.74-75. See also University of
Pretoria Research and Creative Work, 1998, Vol. 1 - Review, p.23.
UNISA, The Introduction to the Centre for Contemporary Asian Studies of the University of South
Africa (UNISA), pp.1-2.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: .nm~FR~J;!3t
(The Briefings of the Cultural Division of the
TLO in the RSA), December 10th, 1999, p.4.
See I. Taylor, "Africa's Place in the Diplomatic Competition between Beijing and Taipei" in Issues &
Studies, Vol. 34, No.3, March 1998, pp.126-143; and "The 'Captive States' of Southern Africa and
China: The PRC and Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland" in Journal of Commonwealth & Comparative
politics, Vol. 35, No.2, July 1997, pp.75-95.
Davies, South Africa and Taiwan' Managing the Post-Diplomatic Relationship, the Editor's Foreword,
lines 3-7.
Ibid., 4th paragraph.
TLO Archives, Cape Town: tt~tf~MtH~~mJ;l?lGrtHMftg.~t*~m~11l~1Mft(Briefings of the
TLO in Cape Town on the Sister Cities between the ROC and the RSA), May 2nd, 2000, p.1.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: g.~~t±~t*~m~~~
(The Establishment of Sisterhood Ties between
the Province of Taiwan and the Province of Transvaal, 1990), Dr. W. R. Hood's letter to Dr. LIEN
Chan, October 23rd, 1990, p.1.
Taipei Forum, jj1EMW:p~IJIt%(The
Situation of South Africa and the ROe-RSA Relations), p.6.
Macroview weekly, Taipei, April 13th, 2000, p.1 (~~.m~~J!mtm*flOO,The KMT Approved Tang
Fei to form his Cabinet).
Interview with MrWouter Zaayman, Deputy Representative of the Liaison Office of South Africa, May
2nd, 2000, in Pretoria.
Central Daily News, Taipei, April 21st, 2000, p.1 (Editorial: Assessment of US Arms Sale to Taiwan).
Official Yearbook of South Africa, 1992, p.201.
Ibid., p.206.
Ibid., p.201.
Sunday Times, September 14th, 1986, p.22 (Editorial: Go East, young man).
Official Yearbook of South Africa, 1992, p.201.
Yap & Man, Colour Confusion and Concessions, Introduction, p.1 & pp.48-49.
The author, as the then Consul-General of the ROC, and Mrs. S.H. Lin, accompanied by the two
ROC Consuls, Messrs. Roger G.C. Su and Vietor H.M. Liu, attended the cultural performance on May
1~, 1997 in Durban North Baptist Church, Durban, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Official Yearbook of South AfFica-,-1993,p.231.
Interview with Dr. Dar-sheng Liu,.Chief of the Cultural Division of the TLO, Pretoria, December 1~,
Sono, Lessons from Taiwan for South Africa, p.142.
Lien Chan, Heading for the 21st Century, p.108.
Fredrick F. Chien, Opportunity and Challenge, p.30.
Ibid., p.55.
TLO Archives, Cape Town: Briefings of the TLO in Cape Town on the Sister Cities between the ROC
and the RSA, May 2nd, 2000, p.1.
Sono, Lessons from Taiwan, pp.73-75.
M. J. Davies, South Africa's Relations with the PRC and the ROC, 1949 to 1995: The Question of
Diplomatic Recognition, M.A. Thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, p.46.
Harkavy, "The Pariah State Syndrome", p.623.
M. Spring, "The Fifth World Concept" in ISSUP Strategic Review, University of Pretoria, April 1982,
General Pei-tsun Hau, The Diary oOhe Eight Years as the Chief of General Staff, p.316.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: ROe-RSA Co-operation on Defence Industries, Ambassador Loh's telex
(report), No.166, March 30th, 1995, p.2.
Ibid., jj~F~-X~-1L1L1i1f.ftrrJl!ta
(The RSA Heads of Mission Conference), September 4th_
8 ,1995, Feedback Reports: Asia, p.31.
Ibid., The ROC Embassy's telex to MOFA No. 166, March 30th, 1995, p.3.
Ibid., p.1.
National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), Cabinet Memorandum No.13, September
5th, 1996, DS 5/1/9B.
TLO Archives, Pretoria: ROe-RSA Cultural and Sports Exchanges, 1981-1989, MOFA's telex No.
768, August 14th, 1984, p.1.
The Official yearbook of South Africa 1993, pp.268-269. Also see South Africa at a Glance 2000,
Geldenhuys, Isolated States, pp.630-631.
TLO Archives, Cape Town: Briefings on the Sister Cities between the ROC and RSA, May 2 , 2000,
p.1. Also see TLO Archives, Pretoria: The Establishment of Sisterhood Ties between the Province of
Taiwan and the Province of Transvaal, Dr. W. R. Hoods' letter, October 23rd, 1990, p.1.
Chien, Opportunity and Challenge, p.30.
Harkavy, "The Pariah State Syndrome", pp.644-645
Barber & Barratt, South Africa's Foreign policy, p.241. Also see K. Adelman, "The Club of Pariahs" in
Africa Report, Vol. 25, No.6, November-December 1980, p.8 & p.1 O.
Sana, Lessons From Taiwan for South Africa, p.142.
Ibid., p.143.
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