China-Africa Summit: A new setback for Polisario, Algiers & Pretoria

The polisario suffered a new diplomatic setback this week, after Beijing invited 53 African states to the China-Africa Summit, but excluded the pseudo “SADR”, the republic self-proclaimed by the separatist front with the support of Algeria, that China has never recognized.

Actually, Beijing’s refusal to receive “SADR” representatives at this important forum, where China has promised an additional $60 billion package for Africa, is embarrassing not only the Polisario and Algeria, but also South Africa.

The Pretoria government and Algeria had exerted all kinds of pressures to have the Sahrawi separatist front attend the African Union-European Union summit held in Côte d’Ivoire in November 2017.

But this time, the tide turned against the polisario and its two loyal supporters in Africa. The Chinese are intractable as to the illegitimacy of the separatist front. In 2015, while Morocco had not yet reintegrated the pan-African organization, China had adamantly refused the participation of the Polisario in the 2nd China-Africa Summit.

The AU, for its part, observes an embarrassed silence on Beijing’s refusal to receive representatives of a virtual state, although the African organization persists in considering it as a member country of the continental organization.

China’s rebuff of the Polisario is far from being an isolated case at the international level. To date, no permanent member of the UN Security Council, nor any major capital in the world, recognizes the separatist front, let alone its improbable republic.

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