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China threatens Iceland

Taiwan’s foreign minister, Tan Sun Chen, arrived in Iceland yesterday not on an official state visit but as an ordinary tourist.

The Chinese government has objected to the visit and threatened to take measures against the Icelandic government that would effect the diplomatic relationship between the two nations.

According to Iceland State Radio, RÚV, on hearing of the planned visited, China’s ambassador in Iceland met with Iceland’s foregin minister, Davíð Oddsson, declaring that the visit, seen as part of a political war with China, would have serious consequences.

The Icelandic Foreign Ministry reiterated that it recognized only one China, the People’s Republic of China, and said that Chen’s visit did not change that.

According to news from the Foreign Ministry yesterday, although Iceland does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country, withholding recognition from Taiwan is not an explicit policy of the current government.

Tan Sun Chen, a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, spent last week in the States at a World Affairs Council in San Francisco, where he spoke at a program on Democracy and Human Rights in Asia.

In mid-May of this year, the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, together with representatives from over 100 Icelandic companies, made an official state visit to China.

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