Foreign Secretary Liz Truss defended the Falkland Islands as “part of the British family” after Beijing backed Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the South Atlantic islands.
Ms Tuss tweeted that “China must respect the Falklands’ sovereignty” after Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez, met with China’s President Xi Jinping on the fringes of the opening of Beijing winter Olympics. Fernandez is on a state visit to China
According to a statement on London’s Chinese Embassy website, the two leaders spoke of their “deep friendship” and Argentina signed up to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, a state-backed campaign for global investments and influence.
But they also signed an agreement in which China reasserted its support for Argentina’s claim to the Falklands, while president Fernandez backed Beijing's one-China policy, which claims Taiwan, and calls it a rebel province.
The statement said Argentina should be able to “fully exercise its sovereignty over the Malvinas (Falklands) Islands issue”. But Ms Truss said: “We completely reject any questions over sovereignty of the Falklands.
“The Falklands are part of the British family and we will defend their right to self-determination. “China must respect the Falklands’ sovereignty.”
Point 4 of the Argentine/China Joint Declaration states both sides ratify their commitment to continue strong reciprocal support for their respective sovereign interests. The argentine side reaffirms its adherence to the principle of one China, while the Chinese side reiterates its support for the Argentine full exercise of its sovereignty claims in the Malvinas Islands question, as well as the resumption of negotiations in the shortest time possible leading to a peaceful solution of the dispute, in conformity with the pertinent resolutions from the United Nations.