A reader sent me this article from the Taipei Times with the delightful tale of a Malawian government official who allegedly pocketed the cash from China:

A Malawian official who played a key role in the government’s decision to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China has fled the country after pocketing the million-dollar “sweetener” Beijing had originally intended for the president, media reports in Malawi said.

A Malawi newspaper, the Nyasa Times, reported that Minister of Presidential and Parliamentary Affairs David Katsonga had angered President Bingu wa Mutharika by taking the “billions of kwachas” meant for the president after he broke ties with Taiwan to recognize Beijing late last year (US$1=141 kwachas).

The president has demanded Katsonga’s immediate return.


Malawi reportedly agreed last month to switch diplomatic recognition to China in exchange for a US$6 billion financial package. However, Lilongwe waited until this month to announce it was severing its 42-year relationship with Taiwan when President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was out of the country.

Heck, China probably paid him to do it — they keep most of what they paid, give him a bundle to keep him quiet, and he lives in happy retirement in a house in south China with his three local wives…can’t wait to see the Nigerian Scams that come out of this one:

Dear Sir:

May God bless! My name Rose Mugambo Matawani, and my husband ran off with a $50 million payment from the Chinese government for Nigeria to switch diplomatic recognition. Unfortunately he died before he could transfer it out of the country….