China has ‘punished’ Lithuania after the Baltic country allowed Taiwan to open a diplomatic office in the capital of Vilnius.
The Chinese foreign ministry has responded by withdrawing its ambassador to Lithuania, saying its diplomatic relations with the country will be downgraded to charge d’affaires.
According to the EUobserver, the Chinese government’s statement on the matter states: “The Chinese government had to lower diplomatic relations […] in order to safeguard its sovereignty and the basic norms of international relations.”
What Lithuania has done is “bad international precedent,” according to the Chinese government.
For years, Beijing has been pushing a ‘One China policy,’ which emphasises a ‘single government’ ruling China. Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Allowing Taiwan to open a “de facto” diplomatic office in the capital of Vilnius goes against this policy.
“The Lithuanian government must bear all consequences that arise from this,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in its statement.