Slovenian-Chinese Business Council calls for political stability

Ljubljana – The Slovenian-Chinese Business Council stressed the importance of stable political relations after PM Janez Janša’s statements on closer ties with Taiwan, saying that economic relations should remain non-politicised.

The Council, which is a part of Slovenia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), said in Wednesday’s press release that the political environment has a major impact on stability and trust between countries.

They believe that “governments, especially their highest representatives, should use open channels of communication and build on the inclusive bilateral relations established in the past by businesses, governments, diplomats and individuals”.

“Building walls is detrimental to global cooperation and economic relations, which must remain non-politicised. We therefore call on Slovenian and Chinese foreign policy stakeholders to be open and inclusive,” they added.

The Council’s statements are among a series of reactions to PM Janša’s statements in Monday’s interview with an Indian TV station that Slovenia and Taiwan were discussing setting up mutual representation offices.

Janša responded on Twitter by underlining economic relations, adding that the representatives would not be at the level of embassies, but at the “same level that many EU countries already have”.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry labelled his statements as “dangerous” today and expressed strong opposition, stating that Taiwan was an inseparable part of China’s territory and that the one-China principle was the universally recognised norm of international relations.

The opposition Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) and Social Democrats (SD) were also critical of Janša’s statements. They expressed concern about political and economic repercussions that could harm Slovenia’s interests.