(TibetanReview.net, Aug10’21) – China has effectively broken off diplomatic relations with the Baltic state of Lithuania over the latter’s decision to allow the name “Taiwan” to be used for the self-ruled island’s representative office in capital Vilnius.
It has recalled its ambassador, Shen Zhifei, from Lithuania and demanded that the latter recall its ambassador to China, Diana Mickeviciene, reported the scmp.com Aug 10.
The report said China’s foreign ministry made the announcement today after Taiwan – which Beijing claims as its own – said in July that it would open a diplomatic outpost in Lithuania. It would be the self-ruled island’s first such de facto embassy in Europe to bear the name “Taiwan”, which Beijing sees as a violation of its One-China policy.
“The decision brazenly violates the spirit of the communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania and severely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese foreign ministry statement was quoted as saying. “The Chinese government expresses its categorical opposition to this move.”
“We urge the Lithuanian side to immediately rectify its wrong decision, take concrete measures to undo the damage, and not to move further down the wrong path,” the statement was quoted as saying. “We also warn the Taiwan authorities that ‘Taiwan independence’ is a dead end and any attempt at separatist activities in the international arena is doomed to fail.”
There is no suggestion yet whether this could lead to full diplomatic relations between Taipei and Vilnius.
Lithuania’s move comes as a setback to China’s campaign to diplomatically isolate Taiwan from the community of independent states, luring away the few small countries with which it has such ties with aid and investment deals.