China downgrades diplomatic ties with Lithuania over Taiwan

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  • Taiwan opens consultant place of business in Vilnius
  • China denounces transfer as ‘dangerous precedent’
  • Brussels, Washington and Warsaw again Lithuania’s stance
  • Taiwan says Chinese bombers fly over island

BEIJING/VILNIUS, Nov 21 (Reuters) – China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania on Sunday, expressing sturdy dissatisfaction with the Baltic State after Taiwan opened a de facto embassy there, escalating a row that has sucked in Washington.

China perspectives self-ruled and democratically ruled Taiwan as its territory without a proper to the trimmings of a state and has stepped up power on nations to downgrade or sever their family members with the island, even non-official ones.

Lithuania expressed remorseful about over China’s transfer however defended its proper to make bigger cooperation with Taiwan, whilst respecting Beijing’s “One China” coverage, and mentioned its overseas minister would cross to Washington to talk about industry and funding tasks.

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Taiwan, in the meantime, reported that two Chinese nuclear-capable H-6 bombers had flown to the south of the island on Sunday, a part of a trend of what Taipei perspectives as army harassment designed to power the federal government.

Beijing had already expressed its anger this summer time with Lithuania – which has formal family members with China and now not Taiwan – after it allowed the island to open an place of business within the nation the usage of the identify Taiwan. China recalled its ambassador in August.

Other Taiwan places of work in Europe and the United States use the identify of town Taipei, keeping off connection with the island itself. However, the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania in spite of everything opened on Thursday.

China’s Foreign Ministry mentioned in a brusque observation that Lithuania had disregarded China’s “solemn stance” and the fundamental norms of global family members.

Beijing mentioned family members can be downgraded to the extent of fee d’affaires, a rung underneath ambassador.

The transfer “undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs”, making a “bad precedent internationally”, it mentioned.

“We urge the Lithuanian side to correct its mistakes immediately and not to underestimate the Chinese people’s firm determination and staunch resolve to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” China’s overseas ministry mentioned.

No subject what Taiwan does, it can not alternate the truth that it is a part of China, it mentioned.

WASHINGTON VISIT

Lithuania’s Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte mentioned on Sunday that the outlet of the consultant place of business, which doesn’t have a proper diplomatic standing, will have to now not have come as a wonder to any individual.

“Our government’s programme says Lithuania wants a more intense economic, cultural and scientific relationship with Taiwan,” she mentioned. “I want to emphasise that this step does not mean any conflict or disagreement with the ‘One China’ policy.”

The high minister of Lithuania’s higher EU neighbour Poland mentioned on Sunday that it supported the stance taken through Vilnius.

The European Commission spokesperson mentioned the EU government “has stood by Lithuania in the face of sustained coercive measures from China” because the summer time.

Taiwan says it’s an impartial nation referred to as the Republic of China, its legitimate identify, and that the People’s Republic of China hasn’t ever governed it and has no proper to talk for it.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council denounced China’s “rudeness and arrogance”, pronouncing Beijing had no proper to touch upon one thing that used to be now not an inner Chinese affair and purely a question between Taiwan and Lithuania.

Taiwan has been heartened through rising global beef up within the face of China’s army and diplomatic power, particularly from the United States and a few of its allies.

Washington rejects makes an attempt through different nations to intervene in Lithuania’s dating with Taiwan, U.S. Under Secretary of State Uzra Zeya advised a information convention in Vilnius on Friday. learn extra

Lithuania Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis will cross to Washington on Tuesday the place he expects to talk about the outlet of the U.S. marketplace to Lithuanian items and creating commonplace funding tasks, the ministry mentioned in a observation on Sunday.

Landsbergis will meet U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez “to discuss possibilities to expand and deepen mutually beneficial economic ties”, it mentioned.

Washington has introduced Vilnius beef up to resist Chinese power and Lithuania will signal a $600 million export credit score settlement with the U.S. Export-Import Bank on Wednesday.

Only 15 nations have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Taipei may just lose any other best friend to Beijing after the Honduran presidential election later this month, the place a candidate subsidized through major opposition events is main in opinion polls.

If elected, Xiomara Castro has vowed to ascertain legitimate family members with China.

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Reporting through Norihiko Shirouzu and Cheng Leng in Beijing, Ben Blanchard in Taipei and Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; Editing through David Clarke and Raissa Kasolowsky

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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