After vowing to retaliate against Lithuania’s move to allow Taiwan open a “representative office” in Vilnius, Beijing has announced it is downgrading diplomatic relations with the Baltic state.
In a statement on Sunday, the Chinese foreign ministry said that China’s diplomatic relations with Lithuania will be formally lowered to the level of charge d’affaires, while blasting Vilnius for setting a “bad international precedent”which gave permission to the island to open its mission at the Lithuanian capital.
Vilnius was accused by the ministry of undermining both the One China Principle and the principle neutrality in bilateral relationships. The ministry explained its decision to degrade relations by citing the necessity to “safeguard its sovereignty and the basic norms of international relations.”
“The Lithuanian government must bear all the consequences arising from this,”While calling for Vilnius to respond, the ministry stated “correct its mistakes immediately.”
“No matter how the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces distort facts and reverse black and white, they cannot change the historical fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to the same China,”According to the ministry,
This move follows a two-day offensive by Beijing against the Baltic nation, warning of a possible pushback to its cozying up with Taiwan. “As to what necessary measures China will take, you may wait and see,”It was said that at the time.
China and Lithuania are embroiled in diplomatic disputes and have stopped maintaining relations at the ambassadorial level with each other since September. China suspended its ambassador to the Baltic country following the announcement by the Baltic state that it planned to open a Taiwanese Embassy de facto. Vilnius did the same in August.
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