China: downgrades diplomatic relations with Lithuania over Taiwan


China has downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania, expressing strong dissatisfaction with Vilnius for allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy on its territory, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement today.

“Lithuania ignored the official position of the Chinese government, ignored the overall state of bilateral relations and ignored the basic rules of international relations, allowing Taiwan to to open a representative office in Lithuania.

China urges Vilnius to “correct the mistake” as soon as possible, the statement said.

China demanded in August that the Baltic state withdraw its ambassador to Beijing and said it would recall its own envoy to Vilnius following the announcement by Taiwan that its city office would be renamed the Taiwanese Representation Office in Lithuania.

Other Taiwanese offices in Europe and the United States use the Taipei city name, avoiding reference to the island, which China claims as its territory.

China has stepped up efforts to get other countries to cut ties with Taiwan, or cut them off altogether. Only 15 countries have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.


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