London: UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss said on Monday that the United Kingdom “completely” rejects any questions over its sovereignty of the Falkland Islands following a joint statement by Chinese president Xi Jinping and his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernandez in which Beijing voiced support for Argentina’s claim over the South Atlantic territory.
“We completely reject any questions over the sovereignty of the Falklands. The Falklands are part of the British family and we will defend their right to self determination. China must respect the Falklands’ sovereignty,” Truss tweeted on Sunday evening.
Xi and Fernandez met on Sunday in Beijing as the Argentine president was in the Chinese capital for the Winter Olympic Games.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting and published by the Chinese embassy in London, China reaffirmed its support for Argentina’s demand to fully exercise its sovereignty over “the Malvinas Islands issue” – the name Argentinians use to refer to the disputed territory.
In April, 1982, the former Argentinian military government sent troops to reclaim the British overseas colony located about 300 miles east of the Argentinian coast, but were defeated after a two-month-long war.