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China protests to St Lucia over Taiwan Minister’s visit

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30.MAR.07

BEIJING, China (Reuters): China criticised St Lucia on Tuesday for allowing the Foreign Minister of diplomatic rival Taiwan to visit the Caribbean nation and blasted Taipei for trying to split China.

Taiwan Foreign Minister, James Huang visited St Lucia last week at the host government’s invitation, despite the fact that the tiny Caribbean island broke ties with Taiwan in 1997 and now has formal diplomatic relations with China.{{more}}

“It is against the principle set in the communique between China and St Lucia and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said of the visit.

“China expressed its strong dissatisfaction and opposition to it,” Qin told a news conference.

China sees self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and the two compete for diplomatic recognition around the world, particularly in poorer regions. Only a handful of countries recognise Taiwan over China.

Qin said St Lucia should respect the “one-China” principle and also expressed anger at Taiwan over the visit.

“The Taiwan authorities are trying their utmost to use despicable means to create two Chinas in the international community and to achieve the political ends of Taiwan independence and sabotage ties with other countries that China has diplomatic relations with,” Qin said.

“This attempt will never succeed.”

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the self-governed democracy of 23 million people back under mainland rule, by force if necessary. (Caribbean Net News)

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