Beijing promises resolute countermeasures over Lithuanian delegation’s trip to Taiwan
China has denounced the visit of a Lithuanian official to Taiwan and vowed a resolute response to the move, which it describes as an affront to the ‘One China’ principle, according to a statement by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday.
Last week, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agne Vaiciukeviciute had arrived at the self-governing island along with an 11-person delegation for what is expected to be a five-day visit.
It comes just after Nancy Pelosi (US House Speaker) visited the island in August 2. The move prompted fierce reactions from Beijing, but was nonetheless celebrated by Vilnius.
“China strongly condemns the Lithuanian anti-China forces for their deliberate violation of China’s sovereignty and gross interference in China’s internal affairs,”Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the foreign ministry said during a daily briefing.
He also highlighted the fact that Beijing sees the ‘One China’ principle as “one of the basic norms of international relations and the political foundation for China to develop bilateral relations with other countries, including Lithuania.”
Wang stated that Vilnius was obligated by the terms of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China, Lithuania and China to recognize Beijing, thereby preventing Vilnius from engaging in official relations and contacts with Taipei.
The Chinese official said the Lithuanian official’s visit to Taiwan was “a blatant breach of faith,”Beijing promised a firm response. “vicious provocation.”
“We urge the relevant people on the Lithuanian side not to continue serving as pawns of ‘Taiwan independence’ and anti-China forces, and stop heading further down the wrong path,” Wang warned.
As reported by the state-run Global Times, Beijing’s response will likely have to do with commerce and trade restrictions as diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania are already at a low point.
In 2021, China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania to the level of charge d’affaires, expressing solemn protest to the Baltic country after Taiwan opened a so-called representative office in Lithuania, which Beijing interpreted as a de facto embassy.
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