Posted: Nov 21, 2021 08:06 GMT
The move comes two days after Beijing warned Vilna that it will “pay” for its actions.
China downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania and expressed “strong discontent” for allowing the opening of a Taiwanese representative office on the territory of the Baltic country, according to a statement issued by the Asian giant’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
The Chinese government accused Lithuania of ignoring its “solemn stance” and the basic rules of international relations by allowing Taiwan to establish a representative office in Lithuania. According to the Foreign Ministry, the Vilna measure “undermined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, and seriously interfered in the internal affairs” of this nation, creating a “bad precedent at the international level”.
Consequently, Beijing made the decision to downgrade the diplomatic relations of both countries to the level of charge d’affaires, one notch below that of ambassador.
“We urge the Lithuanian side to correct their mistakes immediately and do not underestimate the steadfast determination and steadfast determination of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, “the statement reads.
“No matter how the forces of ‘Taiwan independence’ distort the facts and reverse the black and white, they cannot change the historical fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to the same China,” the ministry said.
Chinese Government Warnings
Taiwan opened a representative office in Lithuania on Thursday, to which China reacted with harsh criticism, promising that the Baltic country “will pay” for its actions.
This ‘de facto’ embassy is the first Taiwanese representative office to open in Europe in the last 18 years and is called the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania. This explicit mention of the island sets it apart from other Taiwanese missions in Europe and the US, which avoid this direct reference and are called ‘Taipei offices’.
In this context, the Chinese government voiced its strong protest against this “extremely heinous act” and promised “to take all necessary measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Previously, in July, Lithuania announced that it allowed Taiwan to open in its territory an office whose denomination would mention the name of the island, to which Beijing expressed its protest and withdrew its ambassador to the country.
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