Serbia-Montenegro on Monday praised China's tough new legislation on Taiwan, apparently counting on reciprocal support for Serbia's efforts to prevent its breakaway Kosovo province from gaining independence.
Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic said in a statement that his country "extends full support to the adopted law and views of the state bodies of China" concerning Taiwan. The statement came after Draskovic met with the Chinese ambassador to Belgrade, Li Guobang.
The law enacted by China's parliament Monday authorizes force to stop Taiwan from pursuing formal independence.
Serbia is keen to prevent independence of its southern Kosovo province, where ethnic Albanian separatists took up arms in 1998. The fighting ended with NATO bombing of Serb targets in 1999, forcing Serbia to accept a U.N. resolution that turned its province into a protectorate, run since by the United Nations and NATO.
Talks on Kosovo's final status are expected later this year. Serbia expects that China -- which was strongly against NATO's air strikes -- will use its influence and possibly veto power in the U.N. Security Council if Kosovo's future is decided there.
Draskovic thanked Guobang for supporting a U.N. resolution that left Kosovo formally within Serbia's borders.
"The U.N. charter does not allow creation of independent states within territory of sovereign countries," Draskovic's statement said.