Sunday, November 28

Taiwan: China limits diplomatic ties with Lithuania

(Belga) China has officially downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the rank of “charge d’affaires,” the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday in protest after Taiwan established a de facto embassy in Vilnius.

“The Chinese government had to lower diplomatic relations between the two countries (…) in order to safeguard its sovereignty and the basic standards of international relations,” the ministry said in a statement. “The Lithuanian government must assume all the consequences that result from it,” the statement added, adding that its actions “have set a bad precedent on the international stage”. Lithuania’s use of the term “Taiwan representative office” is a significant diplomatic gap that has challenged a Chinese lobbying campaign aimed at isolating the autonomous democratic island on the international stage. Beijing added that Lithuania had “abandoned the political commitment made during the establishment of diplomatic relations” with China, in reference to the “one-China policy”, according to which the countries officially recognize the Chinese government instead. than that of Taiwan. China is working to keep Taipei isolated on the international stage and refuses any official use of the word “Taiwan”, fearing that it will give the island a sense of international legitimacy. The announcement in July of the opening in Vilnius of this de facto embassy had triggered a Chinese pressure campaign aimed at isolating the autonomous democratic island on the international scene. Beijing had recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and demanded that Vilnius recall its ambassador to China, which Lithuania did. Beijing also halted freight trains going to Lithuania and stopped issuing food export permits. (Belga)

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