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China downgrades diplomatic ties with Lithuania Global Times: Lithuania will sever diplomatic ties if it makes another disruptive move

Posted by on 2021/11/23. Filed under Breaking News,Headline News,International. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Beijing yesterday downgraded diplomatic relations between the two countries to the level of charge d ‘affaires after Lithuania allowed Taiwan to set up a representative office there. The state-run Global Times said China may sever ties with Lithuania if it makes further disruptive moves over Taiwan. The Global Times did not explain any further sabotage by Lithuania, and China cut diplomatic ties. Earlier, Some Chinese scholars said Beijing avoided severing diplomatic ties to avoid the impact of expanding ties with the EU. The Global Times said China’s future diplomacy with the west would focus more on practical content, and “it is an inevitable trend to ignore the superficial and marginal things.”

China has decided to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of charge d ‘affaires, expressing “strong dissatisfaction and solemn protest” over the EU country’s decision to allow Taiwan authorities to open a representative office in Lithuania.

In a statement on Sunday, China’s foreign ministry said the move openly created “one China, one Taiwan” in the international arena, violated the political commitments made by The Cubans in the communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, harmed China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs.

‘There is only one China in the world and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China,’ the Foreign Ministry said. The One-China principle is the consensus of the international community and a universally recognized norm governing international relations. It is the political basis for Developing bilateral relations between China and Lithuania.” In view of the destruction of the political foundation on which neutrality relies to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, the Chinese government has to reduce the diplomatic relations between the two countries to the charge d ‘affaires level in order to safeguard its sovereignty and the basic norms of international relations. The Lithuanian government must bear all the consequences arising from this, “the ministry said.

China’s foreign ministry also issued another warning to Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen administration that Taiwan has never been a country. No matter how the “Taiwan independence” forces distort facts and confuse right and wrong, they cannot change the historical fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China. Attempts to leverage foreign self-respect and engage in political manipulation will inevitably lead to a dead end.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said the opening of a representative office without diplomatic status should not surprise anyone. “Our government’s project shows that Lithuania wants to establish strong relations with Taiwan in the economic, cultural and scientific fields, and this initiative does not imply any conflict or disagreement with the ‘One China’ policy.”

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry also expressed regret and reiterated its adherence to the “one China” policy, but at the same time had the right to expand cooperation with Taiwan, including the establishment of non-diplomatic missions.

In response to Beijing’s decision, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said: “As for the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement claiming that the ‘one China principle’ is the consensus of the international community and a universally recognized norm for international relations, it is actually a self-fabricated and imposed measure aimed at annexing Taiwan.”

“The People’s Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan, and China is not subordinate to any other country. China exists in the international community and the government exercises exclusive jurisdiction over its territory. This is the status quo and fact across the Taiwan Strait,” the agency said.

Determining the rank of diplomatic representatives is one of the main points to be agreed upon when the two sides agree to establish diplomatic relations, the Ministry said under the “Protocol Knowledge” section of its website. The ranks of diplomatic representatives shall be reciprocal and shall be explicitly stated in the communique or other instruments of diplomatic relations.

In theory, diplomatic representatives have ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary, minister extraordinary and plenipotentiary and charge d ‘affaires. “The charge d ‘affaires, dispatched by the Minister of foreign Affairs of one country to the Minister of foreign affairs of another, is the lowest level of diplomatic representative. The agency receives less courtesy than the ambassador or minister, but enjoys the same diplomatic privileges and immunities as the ambassador or minister, “the ministry said.

After 1954, China successively sent agents to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands according to the agreement of the two governments, whose tasks were to continue negotiations on the establishment of diplomatic relations and to deal with overseas Chinese affairs and business. This is a special practice before normal diplomatic relations are established.

Taiwan’s representative office in Lithuania was officially opened in Vilnius last Thursday (18 November). It was considered a diplomatic victory for Taiwan because it was the first time it had opened a consulate in a non-taiwanese country under the name of “Taiwanese Representative Office.”

The last time Taiwan set up a representative office in a European country was 18 years ago.

Taiwan’s first representative to Lithuania will be Huang Junyao, Taiwan’s current representative to Latvia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ou Jiang-an told Taiwan media On Monday. ‘There is huge potential for cooperation in various industries, including semiconductors, lasers and fintech,’ Mr. Ou said.

Vytautas Landsbergis, 89, who led Lithuania to independence from the Soviet Union in 1990 and is known as the ‘father of the nation,’ also made a high-profile visit to the Taiwan representative office, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency. Landsbergis is the grandfather of Lithuania’s current foreign minister.

Lithuania declared independence after the collapse of the Former Soviet Union in 1990 and immediately joined the European Union, the United Nations and other organizations. Over the years, Lithuania and China have been cooperating since the establishment of diplomatic ties. In addition to signing the Memorandum of Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, Lithuania has also joined the “17+1” trade mechanism of cooperation between Central and Eastern Europe and China.

But since 2019, relations have taken a sharp turn for the worse, with Lithuania for the first time listing China as a security threat, parliament supporting anti-China protests in Hong Kong and accusing China of “genocide” against Uighurs in Xinjiang.

In August 2021, It allowed Taiwan to set up a representative office with the name “Taiwan,” prompting Beijing to recall its ambassador to Lithuania and demand the same in protest.

But at that time, the United States and the European Union supported Lithuania’s decision. The U.S. State Department accused Beijing of “retaliating” against Lithuania, while the European Union said Taiwan’s opening of a representative office in Lithuania did not violate the EU’s “one China” policy.

Lithuania, a small Baltic country with a population of 2.8 million, is expected to face diplomatic retaliation from China for opening close ties with Taiwan.

Taipei currently has 110 consulates in 72 countries, 57 of which have no diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Taiwan officials say the main goal is to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology, education and culture

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