China Backs Argentina's 'Legitimate Claim' to Falklands as Truss Calls It 'Part of British Family'

CC BY 2.0 / John5199 / Goose Green, Falkland Islands Goose Green, Falkland Islands
	Goose Green, Falkland Islands
  - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.02.2022
On Monday, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss urged China "to respect the Falklands' sovereignty", describing the territory as "part of the British family".
The Chinese Embassy in London has reiterated its "consistent" position on the disputed Malvinas/Falkland Islands, saying that they "firmly support Argentina's legitimate claim to full sovereignty over" the territory.
In a statement on Tuesday, the diplomats added that China "has always advocated that territorial disputes between countries should be resolved through peaceful negotiations in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter".

"We hope that the UK will respond positively to Argentina's request, start dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible, and find a peaceful, just and lasting solution in accordance with relevant UN resolutions", the embassy said.

The statement came after British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that the UK "completely" rejects "any questions over the sovereignty" of the Falkland Islands.

"The Falklands are part of the British family and we will defend their right to self-determination. China must respect the Falklands' sovereignty", the top UK diplomat added.

The remarks followed a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernandez in Beijing on Sunday. During the talks, the presidents agreed that Beijing will help shore up the ailing Argentine economy with $23.7 billion in financing for various projects.
Fernandez, for his part, signalled his country's readiness to join China's Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing's international project that aims to promote cooperation between the Chinese government and over 60 of its trading partners in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

In a joint statement, both leaders also stressed that "the Argentine side reiterated its adherence to the One-China principle and the Chinese side reiterated its support for the Argentine side's request to fully exercise its sovereignty over the Malvinas [Falkland] Islands issue".

Argentina, Britain at Odds Over Falklands

Since the 19th century, Argentina and Britain have been in a dispute over who holds jurisdiction over the Malvinas/Falklands Islands, and in 1982, the two countries fought a war over the territory.
The conflict, during which then-Argentine President Leopoldo Galtieri sparred with then-UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, claimed the lives of 649 Argentine troops and 255 British servicemen.
While the islands are located just off of the coast of Argentina, the majority of those who live there are British citizens. In a 2013 referendum, Falkland islanders voted for the continuation of their status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom in a near-unanimous verdict.
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