Minister says no change in position on China

Ljubljana – Foreign Minister Anže Logar said that Slovenia had not changed its position in relations with China as he headed into a session of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee on Friday called because of Prime Minister Janez Janša’s recent statements on Taiwan.

There has been “no divergence from our position”, Logar said, adding that he would outline to MPs how representative offices are launched under the Slovenian foreign policy law.

He said there had been “several rounds of talks” at the Foreign Ministry about plans to open a Taipei representative office in Slovenia and a Slovenian representative office in Taipei.

The session comes after Janša said in an interview with an Indian broadcaster earlier this month that Slovenia was in talks with Taiwan on a mutual exchange of representative offices of the kind other EU countries had in Taiwan.

In the same interview, Janša also criticised China’s crackdown on Lithuania and its handling of the original Covid-19 outbreak, prompting a harsh rebuke from Beijing.

His statement was construed by the opposition as a departure from Slovenia’s long-standing adherence to the one-China policy.

Committee chair Monika Gregorčič echoed Logar’s statement when she said she saw “no deviation from the established path, which is supported by international legal documents that Slovenia is a party to”.

She acknowledged, however, that one should be “a bit more careful” or pragmatic in communication on such issues.

The opposition said prior to the session today that they expected explanations about how to mend relations with China.

“We expect a decisive clarification” on Taiwan, said Nik Prebil, committee member for the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ).