onsdag 11. august 2021

China recalls its ambassador to Lithuania

China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania on Tuesday, in response to Vilnius' move to set up a new diplomatic office in Taiwan. Beijing is also demanding Lithuania recall its top envoy from China, according to a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, state media Xinhua reported.

"China solemnly declares to the world that there is only one China in the world, and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China," the spokesperson said.  The escalation over Lithuania's trade office in Taipei comes hot on the heels of another diplomatic tussle between Vilnius and Beijing. Lithuania has also quit China’s “17+1” platform for dealing with Central and Eastern European countries, and has criticized Beijing for causing disunity among EU countries.

Lithuania said China’s decision was “disappointing," with Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis telling Reuters: “We are considering our next moves." He added: “Obviously we got the message but we stated our own message as well, that Lithuania will continue with its policy because it is not only Lithuania’s policy we are pursuing, it is also the policy of many European countries.”

Noting this is the first time Beijing reacted this way to member countries’ offices in Taiwan, EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said: “We regret the Chinese action, and are following developments closely … We do not regard the opening of a representative office in or from Taiwan (as opposed to an embassy or consulate) as a breach of the EU’s One China policy.” She also warned about impact on overall EU-China relations.