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Murdoch and Mandela

Rupert Murdoch is not the only one to bend the knee before the Chinese authorities. The Times's former Asia correspondent. Nelson Mandela has been doing it too

By Jonathan Mirsky   April 1998

In 1996 Nelson Mandela made one of those principled statements which are his trademark. Under pressure from China to sever South Africa’s diplomatic relations with Taiwan and to establish them with Beijing, he said: “It’s not easy for me to be assisted by a country and then to say, once I am in power: ‘I have no relations with you.’ That is not my morality and I will not do it.” He even had a bit of advice for the Chinese: “This is an internal matter. Resolve your own problems. Don’t expect us to.”

When I read this in 1996…

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