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Current Affairs

China backs Argentina’s claim on Falkland islands

Date: 19 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

China’s support to Argentina on the Falkland Islands dispute on the sidelines of Winter Olympics has stirred discussions.

 

Background

The Falklands issue, which culminated in a bitter Falklands War between United Kingdom and Argentina, ended badly.

 

Details

  • The joint statement issued by presidents of Argentina and China says that Beijing supports Argentina’s demand for exercising sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands (Falklands).

  • Falklands were claimed to be illegally taken by UK from Argentina in 1833. An invasion was carried by Argentinean army in 1982.

  • The war, known as Falklands war, lasted over three months and ended in victory for the United Kingdom.

 

Latest controversy

  • This is the 40th anniversary of the Falklands war and Argentina is trying very hard to assert its stance on the sovereignty of these islands.

  • Being a most visible global platform, the Winter Olympics is the most suitable time for capturing global attention.

  • Recently, Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) had also backed Argentina’s claims. Argentina is asking international community to pressurize UK to resume negotiations.

 

Falklands dispute

  • Falklands is located off the coast of Argentina in South Atlantic Ocean. It has been undergoing colonization by Britain, Spain, France and Argentina since 18th century.

  • Prior to British arrival, the islands were a French Colony. Various disputes took place later but it was never claimed by countries.

  • After a privateer claimed the islands on behalf of Argentina, minor disputes cropped up between Britain and Argentina.

  • In 1840, Falklands officially became a crown colony. Scottish settlers were sent for building a pastoral community.

 

Importance for Britain

 The British used the islands as a military base in the south Atlantic during the first and Second World War

 

Buildup to the war

  • In 1965, the UN passed a non-binding resolution that recognized the existence of a sovereignty dispute between the United Kingdom and Argentina, asking them to find a peaceful solution.

  • The talks were halted in 1977 after the Scottish settlers dissented. The UK government was contemplating handing them back to Argentina due to high costs involved in maintenance.

 

Break out of war

  • Argentina invaded the islands in 1982 unexpectedly, starting the war. During that time, the country was being ruled by military dictators.

  • Even after being in a disadvantageous position due to the distance, United Kingdom managed to win the war.