China views self-ruled and democratically ruled Taiwan as its personal territory with no proper to the trimmings of a state, and has stepped up strain on international locations to downgrade or sever their relations with the island, even non-official ones.
Beijing had already expressed anger that Lithuania — which has formal relations with China and never Taiwan — let Taiwan open its workplace within the nation, and recalled its ambassador in August.
The Taiwanese Consultant Workplace in Lithuania opened on Thursday. Different Taiwan places of work in Europe and the USA use the identify of town Taipei, avoiding a reference to the island itself, one thing that has additional angered Beijing.
China’s Overseas Ministry stated in a brusque assertion that Lithuania ignored China’s “solemn stance” and the essential norms of worldwide relations in permitting Taiwan to arrange its consultant workplace in Lithuania.
The transfer “undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China’s inside affairs,” making a “unhealthy precedent internationally,” it stated, including relations could be downgraded to the extent of cost d’affaires, a rung under ambassador.
“We urge the Lithuanian aspect to appropriate its errors instantly and to not underestimate the Chinese language folks’s agency dedication and staunch resolve to defend nationwide sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
It doesn’t matter what Taiwan does, it can’t change the truth that it’s a part of China, the ministry added.
Taiwan says it’s an unbiased nation referred to as the Republic of China, its official identify, and that the Individuals’s Republic of China has by no means dominated it and has no proper to talk for it.
Taiwan has been heartened by rising worldwide help for it within the face of China’s army and diplomatic strain, particularly from the USA and a few of its allies.
Washington has supplied Vilnius help to face up to Chinese language strain, and Lithuania will signal a $600 million export credit score settlement with the U.S. Export-Import Financial institution this week.
Solely 15 international locations have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Taipei might lose one other ally to Beijing after the Honduran presidential election later this month, the place a candidate backed by principal opposition events is main in opinion polls.
If elected, Xiomara Castro has vowed to ascertain official relations with China.