By: Sara Rančigaj / Nova24tv
In an interview with Indian television Doordarshan on Monday, Prime Minister Janez Janša revealed, among other things, that talks were underway with Taiwan on the “exchange of representations”, which is already regulated by many EU member states. Among other things, he explained that Slovenia would support Taiwan in its independence, which was not to the liking of the Chinese authorities. Then, the Chinese Foreign Ministry described Janša’s statements regarding Taiwan as “dangerous” and expressed strong opposition. “However, it is to be expected that China is very jealous of countries that sympathise with Taiwan, and in this case, it reacted nervously. I am convinced that this will not have a major impact on relations, as I believe that the government will be able to react cautiously and diplomatically in this case,” commented Dr Dimitrij Rupel.
In a broadcast on India’s national television Doordarshan, Prime Minister Janez Janša announced that Slovenia supports the sovereign decision of the Taiwanese. “If the Taiwanese people want to live independently, we will support them in doing so. I think this is the main problem. The issue and divisions regarding Taiwan revolve around this, and I think we need to be principled, and we need to cooperate,” Janša emphasised.
He also revealed that they are working on the exchange of representations, which will not be at the level of embassies. “This will be a representation at the same level as the many EU Member States. And frankly, I think that if we had stronger coalitions in recent years, we would have set up such trade missions in the past, because this is a matter of mutual benefit,” he said, criticising China for responding to Lithuania’s opening the diplomatic mission in Taiwan and the Taiwanese mission in Lithuania.
According to the STA, the Chinese Foreign Ministry today described the statements of Slovenian Prime Minister Janša regarding Taiwan as “dangerous” and expressed strong opposition. “Taiwan is an indivisible part of Chinese territory. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government that represents the whole of China. The one-China principle is a universally recognised rule of international relations and a universal consensus of the international community,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news conference in Beijing today.
Taiwan is grateful to Janša for the support
“This is also the political foundation of relations between China and Slovenia and China and Europe,” he added after the reporting of the Chinese web portal CGTN in English. The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, expressed gratitude to the Slovenian Prime Minister on Twitter for his “strong support”.
Janša, meanwhile, responded to criticism from SD MEP Milan Brglez, who wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the Prime Minister’s statements were a “rude and crazy privatisation of foreign policy”. “The Prime Minister is ignoring the Foreign Affairs Act and the National Assembly, while he will quarrel with at least two superpowers,” Brglez wrote.
“The vast majority of EU member states have economic representations in Taiwan and vice versa. Only the proud successors of the dictatorship of the SD party can oppose Slovenia’s equal and sovereign European policy and agree to second-class status. Because their role models are in power in China,” he responded to Brglez’s accusations on Twitter.
Due to its history, Slovenia has been sympathetic to communities such as Taiwan
The first Slovenian Foreign Minister, Dimitrij Rupel, emphasised that European foreign policy was more than non-unified and that talks were being held at the EU Council level on a coherent EU-wide foreign policy. For the time being, EU countries have the right to a different foreign policy, for example, Germany and France are pursuing their own foreign policy goals and interests. “In its nature, in its ‘emotional essence’, Slovenia sympathises with communities that pursue freedom, independence and autonomy, including Taiwan,” Rupel said.
According to him, Taiwan was more independent in the past, while today it does not formally exist as an independent state. Slovenia has been cultivating sympathy for Taiwan for a long time, while Slovenia has cooperated with it in foreign policy. “However, it is to be expected that China is very jealous of countries that sympathise with Taiwan, and in this case, it reacted nervously. I am convinced that this will not have a major impact on relations, as I believe that the government will be able to react cautiously and diplomatically in this case,” Rupel concluded.