As in Hong Kong and Taiwan, questions of national identity, colonial history, and the complications of separatist movements abroad complicate Somaliland’s quest for statehood, despite the fact that the territory has its own currency, bureaucracy, and security force. In the wake of US president Donald Trump’s ban on citizens traveling from Somalia, Somaliland has hired a lobbyist to request an exemption. Somaliland, its foreign minister argued, does not have the conditions of “war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest” that trouble Somalia proper.

Late last year, CCTV rebranded its international programs under the name CGTN, China Global Television Network, as part of its mission to ”cover the whole globe, reporting news from a Chinese perspective.” The broadcaster’s presence is particularly strong in Africa, where its journalists have more editorial freedom than other international channels or their counterparts in China.

Still, some topics are off limits, according to Chinese media researchers. These include human rights activist Desmond Tutu, a friend of the Dalai Lama’s, or visits to the continent by Pope Francis, who Beijing does not recognize as the head of the Catholic church. Somaliland’s unique status may now be added to the list of taboo topics.

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