This article originally appeared at Anti-Media.
Through its Foreign Ministry spokeswoman on Thursday, China officially showed support for the Spanish government as it works to suppress an independence movement in the semi-autonomous region of Catalonia.
“The Chinese side closely follows the relevant situation in Catalonia, understands and supports the effort of the Spanish government to uphold national unity, ethnic solidarity and territorial integrity and believes the Spanish side is capable of safeguarding the social order and civil rights and interests in accordance with law,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during her daily press briefing.
Continuing, Hua called China and Spain “friendly countries” and said China “will continue to develop friendly cooperation with Spain by upholding the principle of respecting each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.”
As Anti-Media has been reporting, China is facing its own crisis of unity, with several of its semi-autonomous regions — most notably Taiwan, whose leadership has recently doubled down on the idea of moving away from the Chinese sphere — expressing a desire for more independence. In this context, China backing Spain’s central government makes sense.
The Economy Minister of the Spanish government, Luis de Guindos, told CNBC Thursday that the “real culprit” of the violence that occurred during the Catalonian referendum of October 1 — in which citizens voted for independence — was the Catalonian leadership because “the constitutional court of Spain declared this referendum illegal.”
The minister went on to say that the situation in Catalonia is no longer about independence, but rather about “radical policies,” adding that the people “calling the shots are an extremely radical group that has links with the anarchist tradition of Barcelona and Catalunya.”
Meanwhile, the Catalonian president has accused Spain’s prime minister of ignoring his offer to suspend the referendum results while the two sides talk. Spain’s leader says no such dialogue will take place and has threatened to impose, by force, direct control over the region if it doesn’t declare the independence vote void.