mandag 22. november 2021

China demands Lithuania mend rift over Taiwan relations

China on Monday demanded Lithuania end its newly enhanced relationship with Taiwan that has already prompted Beijing to downgrade diplomatic ties from the ambassadorial level with the EU-member nation. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Lithuania should “immediately put right its mistake” of allowing the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory to open a de-facto embassy in the Baltic nation under the name Taiwanese Representative Office.

Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing that the EU member-state should not “underestimate the Chinese people’s strong resolve, will and capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” China and Taiwan split amidst civil war in 1949 and Beijing threatens to use force to bring the island under its control.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday said relations would be downgraded to the level of charge d’affaires, an embassy’s No. 2 official. China earlier expelled the Lithuanian ambassador and withdrew its own ambassador from Lithuania.