Pahor says Slovenia advocates one-China principle

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has said as he responded to PM Janez Janša’s statements about China and Taiwan that ever since Slovenia and China established diplomatic relations, Slovenia has consistently advocated a one-China principle, a principle the EU is also bound to.

“Taipei has representation offices in 20 EU members. The idea to open one such representation office in Slovenia is not new. The president sees it as an encouragement to economic relations,” Pahor’s office responded on Thursday to the STA’s question whether he had been informed in any way about Janša’s announcement.

In the written statement, Pahor made a point noting the difference between Taipei as Taiwan’s capital and Taiwan as a country.

The STA is still waiting for the Slovenian Foreign Ministry to reply to its query how far the talks on setting up mutual representation offices with Taiwan are.

The ministry has only explained so far that subject to the talks is an “economic and cultural representation office”.

It is thus not clear whether the talks are in an early stage or if they are just about to materialise.

In an interview Janša gave to the Indian public service broadcaster Doordarshan on Monday, he said that Slovenia and Taiwan were “working on exchanging representatives”, adding the representatives would not be at the level of embassies.

He was also critical of China’s response to a decision by Lithuania to open a diplomatic representation office in Taiwan, and said that Slovenia would support any sovereign decision of the Taiwanese people, including independence.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry described his statements as “dangerous” and stressed the one-China principle was the universally recognised norm of international relations. The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry meanwhile expressed “gratitude” for Janša’s “staunch support”.