China downgrades its diplomatic relations with Lithuania due to Taiwan relations

After the Baltic countries upgraded their economic relations with Taiwan, China lowered its diplomatic relations with Lithuania, which shows that EU member states will face the risk of Beijing’s retaliation if they seek to deepen ties with Taipei.

China stated that the decision to lower relations with Lithuania from the ambassadorial level to the charge d’affaires level was to protest the country’s decision to open a representative office in Taipei last week. Representative office is not equivalent to formal diplomatic relations, but a sign of deepening relations.

“This act blatantly created the false impression of’one China, one Taiwan’ in the world, abandoned Lithuania’s political commitment in the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs,” China The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

Beijing claims that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s sovereign territory and often opposes formal contacts with the democratically elected government of Taipei.

Lithuania expressed regret over Beijing’s decision and reiterated its commitment to the “One China Policy.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country added that the relationship is based on economic interests, stating that it “has the right to expand cooperation with Taiwan and, like many other countries, accept and establish non-diplomatic missions to ensure the actual development of this relationship.” “.

Beijing’s latest reaction to Lithuania is The general trend of rising relationships Between Central and Eastern European countries and Taiwan.

Vilnius believes that although most EU member states and Western governments have similar arrangements with Taiwan, it has been singled out by China.

Mutual representative offices with Taiwan have been established Cause a recall Chinese and Lithuanian ambassadors from their respective capitals.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “We urge Lithuania to immediately correct its mistakes and not to underestimate the Chinese people’s determination, will and ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Taiwan is regarded by many security experts and officials Dangerous flash point Between the United States and China.Beijing has Increase pressure on Taiwan Since the Democratic Progressive Party led by President Tsai Ing-wen replaced the more Beijing-friendly Kuomintang to power in 2016, changes in the diplomatic, military, and economic fields have occurred.

Gitanas Nauseda, President of Lithuania, Tell the financial times In August, the Baltic countries will not give in. He added that while the country is committed to defending democratic values, this practice “should not create additional tensions”.

In recent months, Vilnius has taken an increasingly tough stance against China. The government withdrew from the 17+1 group set up by Beijing to respond to Central and Eastern European countries, condemning China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, and barring Huawei from accessing its telecommunications infrastructure.

Some governments and legislators are reconsidering their ties with China because they are increasingly afraid of Beijing’s authoritarian tendencies and are disappointed with the economic opportunities of the world’s second largest economy.

A group of members of the European Parliament visited Taipei this month to protect their interests. Support Taiwan.

In addition, the Australian Minister of Defense stated that this is “Incredible“The country will not support the United States in defending Taiwan.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a “stern warning” to the Taiwanese government regarding Taiwan’s attempts to seek foreign support.

“No matter how the’Taiwan independence’ forces distort the facts and confuse the public, they cannot change the historical fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to the same China,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Lithuania also faces severe pressure from neighboring Belarus, where the Alexander Lukashenko regime has attracted thousands of migrants to its borders.

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