By: Tang Pei-chun and Lilian Wu
Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Veteran Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomat Loh I-cheng (陸以正) died on Friday and was praised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his long service to the country.
During a diplomatic career that lasted four decades, Loh served as the ROC’s ambassador to Guatemala and South Africa, as a representative to Austria, and was part of the ROC’s embassy in the United States when Washington broke off ties with Taiwan in 1978, according to the ministry.
He was ordered to leave the United States after his op-ed piece titled “We’ll Fight, We’ll Die for Freedom” was published in the New York Daily News on Dec. 26, 1978.
He became ambassador to South Africa in 1990, and during his seven years there he developed close ties with then President Nelson Mandela, leading to a visit to the country by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in 1994.
Loh said Mandela told him in late 1996 that there was a decision he had no choice but to make and gave Taiwan 13 months to prepare for a severance of diplomatic ties in 1998. [SOURCE]