January 30, 2023

China has cut diplomatic ties with Lithuania over Taiwan

BEIJING / VILNIES, Nov. 21 (Reuters) – China cut off its diplomatic relations with Lithuania on Sunday, expressing strong dissatisfaction with the Baltic government for allowing it to open an existing embassy in Taiwan, and a tug-of-war in Washington.

China regards Taiwan as self-governing and democratically a territory with no rights to the traps of a state, and pressures it to sever or sever its ties with the island, even unofficially.

Beijing had already expressed outrage this summer when it was allowed to open an office in the country using the name Lithuania-Taiwan, which has formal relations with China rather than Taiwan. In August, China recalled its ambassador.

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Other Taiwanese offices in Europe and the United States use the name Taipei, except for the island. However, the Taiwanese representative office in Lithuania was finally opened Thursday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Lithuania had ignored China’s “clean position” and basic ethics of international relations.

The move “undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and greatly interfered with China’s internal affairs”, setting a “bad precedent” internationally.

Beijing said relations would be downgraded to the level of officials below the ambassador.

“We urge the Lithuanian side to immediately correct its mistakes and not underestimate the determination and determination of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” L

No matter what Taiwan does, it cannot change the fact that it is a part of China, the ministry said.

The right to cooperate

Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that it was “sorry” for China’s decision.

“Acceptance of Taiwan’s representation in Lithuania is based on economic interests,” it said.

Lithuania reaffirms its “one China” policy, but at the same time has the right to expand cooperation with Taiwan and to accept and establish non-diplomatic representations to ensure the practical development of the annexation. Made by many countries. “

Taiwan, an independent country called the Republic of China, claims its official name, and that the People’s Republic of China has never ruled it and has no right to speak for it.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council condemned China’s “rudeness and arrogance”, saying Beijing had no right to comment on an issue other than Chinese domestic affairs and between Taiwan and Lithuania.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense later announced on Sunday that two Chinese nuclear – capable H-6 bombers had flown south of the island, part of a form that Taipei considers to be military harassment designed to put pressure on the government.

Taiwan is pleased with the growing international support in the face of China’s military and diplomatic pressures, especially in the face of the United States and some of its allies.

Washington rejects other countries’ attempts to interfere in Lithuania’s relations with Taiwan, US Undersecretary of State Uzra Jiah told a news conference in Vilnius on Friday.

Washington offered Vilnius support to withstand Chinese pressure and Lithuania would sign $ 600 million Export loan agreement with US Export-Import Bank on Wednesday.

Only 15 countries have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Taipei is set to lose another ally to Beijing after Honduran’s presidential election later this month, where a candidate with the support of the main opposition is leading the polls.

If elected, Siomaro Castro promised to establish official relations with China.

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Report by Norihiko Shirosu and Cheng Leng in Beijing, Ben Blanchard in Taipei and Andreas Cytas in Vilnius; Editing: Christopher Cushing, Michael Perry, William Mallard and David Clark

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.