China downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania in retaliation for opening a Taiwan office

Opening of the Taiwanese office in Lithuania (AP)

The Chinese regime decided to “downgrade” its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of charge d’affaires as repreaslia for the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilna, the Lithuanian capital, reported the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The opening of an institution with the name “Taiwan Representative Office” in Lithuania “seriously undermines the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,” according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. China urges the Baltic country to “rectify its mistakes immediately” and warns that it “must not underestimate the determination of the Chinese people to defend their sovereignty.”

Beijing accuses the Lithuanian authorities of “ignoring Chinese statements” and of “Not being aware of the consequences” of your decision.

China earlier expelled the Lithuanian ambassador in a reflection of the delicate environment of the status of Taiwan, which according to Beijing, has no right to conduct foreign affairs. China he also withdrew his ambassador from Lithuania.

The opening of the Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius aims to “expand relations with Central and Eastern Europe, especially with the Baltic countries, and strengthen cooperation and exchanges in various fields,” according to a statement from the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry. .

In addition, the Lithuanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mantas Adomenas, has also announced the opening in Taiwan of a representative office of Lithuania, whose official name has not yet been decided, before 2022, whose inauguration will be attended by a senior official from the Ministry of Affairs. Exteriors of the European country.

In recent years, Lithuania has strengthened its relations with Taiwan, a major trading center for the high-tech industry.

Several public figures and politicians in Lithuania signed an open letter to President Gitanas Nauseda in 2020 in which They called for the Baltic country to support the independence of Taiwan and its admission to the World Health Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the WHO. However, Lithuania has not had diplomatic relations with Taipei but with Beijing since 1991, shortly after achieving its independence from the Soviet Union.

Taiwan – where the Chinese nationalist army withdrew after the defeat against communist troops in the civil war – has been governed autonomously since 1949, although China claims sovereignty of the island, which it considers a rebel province for whose reunification it has not ruled out the use of force.

Taiwan currently maintains diplomatic relations with 15 countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Vatican City, Haiti, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Eswatini, Tuvalu, Nauru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Belize, Marshall Islands and Palau.

(With information from EFE)


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