The Slovenia Times

Chinese foreign minister expected in Slovenia on Saturday


Wang will be received by Cerar as well as Prime Minister Marjan Šarec, President Borut Pahor and Speaker Dejan Židan, as part of a visit that Cerar said "rounds off the foreign policy strategy" of completing talks with all members of the United Nations Security Council in the early stages of the government's term.

"Slovenia is strongly integrated in international political events and we will leverage this visit to talk about the economic interests of both countries, which are mutual in many areas," according to Cerar.

China is Slovenia's biggest trading partner in Asia. Exports to China topped EUR 303 million last year, with imports at just over a billion euro.

Over the past five to six years Slovenia and China have also strengthened cooperation in forums such as EU-China cooperation and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). In the 17+1 initiative, which brings together China and 17 Central and Eastern European countries, cooperation is "very concrete," according to Cerar.

But while describing China as a partner, Cerar acknowledged that the country also tends to be labelled as a competitor. "At certain moments warnings have even been issued that we have to be very cautious when it comes to cybersecurity and geostrategic positions."

And while economic cooperation will be in the focus, talks will also touch on international issues such as the nuclear agreement with Iran, EU-China relations in general, the US-China trade confrontation and China's involvement in Africa.

"In such contacts with our partners from China we always stress in principle that Europe and Slovenia are advocates of democratic values and the rule of law, in particular in an international context," Cerar told the MPs.

Wang will visit Slovenia en route to Madrid, where a meeting of ASEM foreign ministers starts on Sunday.


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