China affirms support to Serbia over Kosovo

Beijing announced today that it will continue to respect Serbia’s territorial integrity, and that it believes there is still room for new Kosovo status talks.

The Chinese reaction came one day after the International Court of Justice ruled that the Kosovo Albanian unilateral declaration of independence did not breach international law, as there was “no active provision that limits independence declarations”.

The court’s advisory opinion however did not rule on the right to self-determination or secession.

Chinese MFA spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing today that China respects Serbia’s territorial integrity, and believes that negotiations with the UN framework are the best way to find a solution acceptable to both sides.

“China firmly believes that the respect of national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the basic principle of international law, and the basis of today’s global legal system,” the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs said.

China believes that the ICJ advisory opinion does not stand in the way of finding an appropriate solution through negotiations, said the statement.

China, as well as fellow permanent UN Security Council member Russia, are among the countries that have not recognized Kosovo.

On the other hand, the United States, who advocate further recognitions by other countries, and 22 out of EU’s 27 member-states, have done so.

Belgrade, however, continues to reject the unilateral proclamation made in early 2008, and considers it to be illegal.

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