Taiwan recognizes Kosovo despite China's objection

Taiwan, which is involved in its own sovereignty dispute with China, on Tuesday extended diplomatic recognition to Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia on Sunday.

Taiwan recognizes Kosovo despite China's objection
Foreign Minister James Huang told a news conference that Taiwan did not rule out developing official ties with Kosovo and was willing to provide aid.

"The Republic of China (Taiwan's formal title) extends formal recognition to the Republic of Kosovo starting today, and wish Kosovo and its people prosperity," Huang said.

He said self-determination was "a holy right" enshrined in the United Nations Charter. "The Kosovo people, after overcoming various difficulties, have achieved independence. This is worth our admiration," he said.

When asked if Taiwan wants to launch diplomatic ties with Kosovo, Huang said Taiwan had made contacts with Kosovo in the past and did not rule out developing official ties with it in the future.

Taiwan was among the first to congratulate Kosovo on its independence Sunday in a move triggered strong protest from China which sees Taiwan as its breakaway province.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao blasted Taiwan for congratulating Kosovo.

"Taiwan, as a part of China, has no right and qualification at all to make the so-called recognition," he said.

Refuting Liu's statement, Huang on Tuesday said Taiwan, as a sovereign state, was qualified to congratulate another sovereignty nation.

"After declaring independence, Kosovo is actively seeking recognition from the international community. Taiwan, as a member of the international community and a sovereignty state, certainly has the right to recognize another sovereignty state, to welcome Kosovo into the international community," he said.

Many Taiwan scholars and experts have said, unlike Kosovo, Taiwan will not make the drastic move towards independence because the majority of Kosovo residents are Albanian, but most Taiwanese are Chinese.

Split from China since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Taiwan is currently recognized formally by only 23 mostly-small nations.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Şubat 2008, 11:06