EASING UNCERTAINTY: ‘As I wish everyone a bright future, I also want to tell you that I like Shih Chien and I love Taiwan,’ the prince said in his valedictory address
By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter
Prince Buhlebenkhosi Dlamini, one of the numerous children of King Mswati III of Eswatini, expressed his love for Taiwan during his graduation from Shih Chien University in Taipei yesterday, saying that he has decided to stay in Taiwan for further studies.
Dlamini, who received a bachelor’s degree from the university’s English-language International Business and Trade program, delivered a speech in Mandarin and English as the school valedictorian at a graduation ceremony at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
“This is an important day for all of us. Many challenges await us after graduation, but Shih Chien has fully prepared us for them,” Dlamini said in Mandarin.
The ceremony was also attended by the king, his second wife, Inkhosikati LaMotsa, Vice President Chen Chien-jen （陳建仁） and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu （吳釗燮）.
“As I wish everyone a bright future, I also want to tell you that I like Shih Chien and I love Taiwan,” he said, adding that he would pursue a postgraduate degree at the school.
One of Dlamini’s younger brothers is also planning to apply to Shih Chien, school president Michael Chen （陳振貴） said.
There have been concerns that Dlamini’s departure after graduation could increase the chances that Eswatini — Taiwan’s sole dilomatic African ally — would sever ties with the nation, but these seem to have abated with the prince’s decision to stay in Taiwan.
Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi （王毅） has publicly called on Eswatini to follow in the footsteps of Burkina Faso, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China late last month, before September’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Beijing.
In his speech, the king expressed his gratitude to Shih Chien for turning his son, who he said could hardly focus on his studies and required discipline before he left home, into a “dedicated, humble and obedient student” in four years.
“There are over 250 Swazi students at various institutions [in Taiwan] who are acquiring first-world education. We look forward to their return home to make a meaningful impact on our development,” the king said.
Thanking the Taiwanese government for affording education opportunities to Swazi citizens, the king expressed the hope that the high-quality education they receive would contribute to the transformation of the African nation’s economy and its attainment of first-world status.
He also stressed the solidity of Taiwan-Eswatini ties, saying the two nations would remain good friends for generations to come.
In recognition of the king’s continuous support for Taiwan, Shih Chien conferred him an honorary doctorate degree in management.