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Slovenia's plans to bolster trade ties with Taiwan draw fire from China

Author Radomir Ralev
Slovenia's plans to bolster trade ties with Taiwan draw fire from China Source: China Foreign Ministry

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), January 19 (SeeNews) - Slovenia's plans to establish representative offices in Taiwan represent a challenge against China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese government spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday.

"The Chinese side is shocked by and strongly opposes the dangerous remarks by the Slovenian leader who flagrantly challenged the one-China principle and voiced support for 'Taiwan independence'," Zhao Lijian said at a news conference, according to a press release issued by China's foreign ministry.

Earlier this week, Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa said in an interview for Indian public broadcaster Doordarshan that Slovenia and Taiwan are working on an exchange of trade representatives to bolster their trade ties and voiced support for the decision of Taiwanese people to live independently.

In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Taiwan's foreign ministry expressed support for the position of Jansa.

Zhao Lijian said: "The one-China principle is a universally-recognised norm governing international relations and common consensus of the international community. It is also the political foundation of China-Slovenia and China-EU relations."

Taiwan split from China into a self-governing entity as a result of the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949. Beijing seeks the end of Taiwan's independence through the process of reunification, based on the one-China principle under which there is only one sovereign state under the name China.

In November, Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in the country under the name Taiwan, rather than Chinese Taipei in a break with diplomatic convention. The move drew fire from China which expelled Lithuania's ambassador, but Taiwan set up a $1 billion (880 million euro) loan programme to back projects by Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies, as well as a $200 million investment fund to support the Lithuanian economy.

($ = 0.8819 euro)

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