China Back's Argentina's Falklands Claim, Urges End To Hegemonism And "Colonial Thinking"

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 26, 2023 - 02:00 AM

Around the time the senile vegetable reading from the White House teleprompter was calling China's Xi Jinping a democrat, destroying all the goodwill his Secretary of State did just days earlier during his visit go Beijing - and throwing Blinken under the bus in the process - a Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Geng Shuang, backed Argentina’s claim to the Falkland Islands and called on countries to abandon “colonial thinking”, and warning of its serious implications for the international order.

The Falkland Islands, also known as the Malvinas, are claimed by Britain and Argentina, which has demanded a return to negotiations over their sovereignty. Photo: Shutterstock

Geng, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, made the comments on Tuesday to a special committee on decolonisation, which adopted a resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to resume negotiations over the islands, also known as the Malvinas.

“The issue of the Malvinas Islands is a historical legacy of colonialism. Although the colonial era has passed, hegemonism and power politics that are in line with colonial thinking still exist today,” he said, quoted by the SCMP.

Geng said this way of thinking has a “serious impact” on international relations and order and “seriously damages” the sovereignty, security and development interests of the countries involved.

“The international community must remain highly vigilant and resolutely resist this,” he said.

Argentina maintains that the islands – about 600km (370 miles) from its coastline in the South Atlantic – were illegally taken by Britain, which argues that it has territorial claims dating back to 1765.

The centuries-old dispute flared into a two-month war between the two countries in 1982, after an attempt by Buenos Aires to take the territory prompted Britain to dispatch a naval taskforce to regain the islands. The issue was revived again this past March, when Argentina walked away from a 2016 cooperation agreement – covering issues such as energy, shipping and fishing, but not sovereignty – and demanded a return to negotiations over the islands.

British foreign secretary James Cleverly said firmly that the islands are British territory, pointing out on Twitter that the islanders “have chosen to remain a self-governing UK overseas territory” similar to what Russia did with residents in Crimea in the Donbass but the western media was less enthused back then.

A 2013 referendum on the islands resulted in a 99.8 per cent vote to remain British, again - similar to Crimea referendum outcome.

Argentina’s secretary of Malvinas affairs Guillermo Carmona flagged last year that the South American country intended to “take advantage” of the geopolitical climate – including the war in Ukraine – to bolster international support for its claim. In an interview with Reuters in August, Carmona said the world had “seldom spoken so much about the territorial integrity of countries as it has since Russia invaded Ukraine in February”.

“This has shown up the double standard of some Western powers such as Britain that apply one criteria in Europe and another in South America,” he said.

At the UN committee meeting on Tuesday, Geng said Beijing “firmly supported” Argentina’s claim over the disputed territory and advocated for the settlement of disputes through peaceful negotiations.

“We urge the UK … to avoid measures that may aggravate tension and confrontation, and at the same time actively respond to Argentina’s request to resume dialogue and negotiations,” he said.

While Geng’s remarks focused on the Falkland Islands, they echoed the Chinese foreign ministry’s long-standing argument that the US and other Western nations are trying to maintain their own dominance when they push back against China’s military presence in the South China Sea.

The resource-rich waterway is the subject of competing claims by China and a number of countries in the region which have increasingly aired their concerns over Chinese actions and military build-up in the disputed areas. In February, the ministry published a 4,000-word article condemning US hegemony and listing the ways in which Washington has “abused its dominance” politically, militarily and economically.