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Published: 11:22, August 24, 2022 | Updated: 11:22, August 24, 2022
Colonialism finds few backers today
By China Daily
Published:11:22, August 24, 2022 Updated:11:22, August 24, 2022 By China Daily

Nobody knows why the United Kingdom's embassy to Argentina has decided to organize a short-video contest for college students from South America on Argentina's Malvinas Islands, which the UK has illegally occupied since 1833 and calls the Falkland Islands.

The participants in the contest have to make a one-minute video in English, answering the question: Why I want to visit my neighbors in the Falkland Islands? The winners will win a trip to the islands, where they will spend a week with a local family learning about the history, culture and society of the Falkland Islands, according to the embassy.

The UK can hardly be unaware of the provocative nature of the contest, as the UK embassy organized a similar competition in 2018 when the UK was struggling to get Brexit across the line, which provoked an angry response from Buenos Aires.

Similarly this time, Buenos Aires has launched a solemn protest and reaffirmed Argentina's sovereignty over the islands, saying "this is clearly an activity that only attempts to reflect the British occupation of the Malvinas Islands".

Instead of rubbing salt in Argentina's wound, presumably in the hope that the furor will stoke a jingoist diversion from its dire and worsening domestic situation, the UK should abide by the United Nations mandate to resume negotiations with Argentina to find a peaceful and permanent solution to the sovereignty dispute over the islands.

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2065 adopted in 1965 recognized the existence of a sovereignty dispute between the UK and Argentina over the islands, and urged the two countries to find a peaceful solution to it.

The Special Committee on Decolonization of the UN has issued resolutions on the issue more than 30 times urging the UK to engage in negotiations with Argentina to settle the dispute. The UK has declined all Argentina's invitations to negotiate.

The UK's uncooperativeness does not change the nature of the issue, which is fundamentally a legacy of the UK's colonialism, and must be resolved with justice.

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf concluded in 2016 that the islands are located within the territorial sea of Argentina. The majority of the international community support Argentina's claim to sovereignty over the islands and they have urged the UK to respect the relevant UN resolutions and correct its colonial wrong.

UK politicians need to realize that until the UK acts with propriety and hands back one of the remaining vestiges of its imperialist looting spree around the world, "Global Britain" will be viewed with disdain and suspicion.

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