BELGRADE, Oct 27, 2005 (DJCS via Comtex) --
Serbia is counting on China's veto in the U.N. Security Council to prevent Kosovo's independence, Serbia-Montenegro's foreign minister said Thursday.
Vuk Draskovic said that after talks with senior Chinese officials in Beijing earlier this week, "I got assurances that Serbia's territorial integrity" will be respected in any negotiated solution for independence-seeking Kosovo.
Monday, the U.N. Security Council decided to launch talks between Serbian and ethnic Albanian officials on Kosovo's future, clearing the way for tough negotiations on the status of the ethnically divided province.
Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders are demanding full independence, while its Serb minority and Belgrade officials want it to remain within Serbia-Montenegro.
Draskovic said that he told senior Chinese officials that Kosovo is Serbia's Taiwan. Although Taiwan is self-governing, Beijing insists the island that broke away amid civil war in 1949 still is part of China.
"I expressed hope that the U.N. Security Council, and China as its permanent member, won't allow that force defeats law," Draskovic said.
"The senior Chinese officials stressed their firm and principal stand that international borders cannot change and that any other solution would violate the U.N. Charter and international law," Draskovic said.
A negotiated solution on Kosovo's final status is expected to go through a vote in the U.N. Security Council. China is one of the Council's five permanent members with veto power over all resolutions considered by the body.
Meanwhile, Sandra Raskovic-Ivic, a Serbian government official charged with Kosovo, said no Serbian official would agree to "any form" of independence for Kosovo during the U.N.-mediated negotiations.
Although Kosovo formally remains part of Serbia, the U.N. has administered the tense province since NATO's 1999 air war against the former Yugoslavia that forced ex-President Slobodan Milosevic to end a violent crackdown on rebel Kosovo Albanians.