TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has scored a rare diplomatic victory in establishing relations with the independent region of Somaliland. It broke away from Somalia in 1991 as the country collapsed into warlord-led conflict.
Intense pressure from China has reduced self-governing Taiwan to just 15 diplomatic allies and exclusion from the United Nations and most other international organizations.
China claims the island democracy as its own territory to be brought under its control by military force if it deems necessary. Somaliland has seen little of the violence and extremist attacks that plague Somalia to the south. Despite lacking international recognition, Somaliland maintains its own independent government, currency and security system.