China explodes as Lithuania permits Taiwan to open consultant office

China has blasted Lithuania, warning it will “pay a price” for permitting Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in its capital Vilnius.

China has slammed Lithuania after the Baltic nation allowed Taiwan to open consultant office — a de facto embassy — in its capital Vilnius.

The People’s Republic of China is livid the new office will have the title “Taiwan” as an alternative of “Taipei”.

Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province, regardless of by no means having dominated the island. Taiwan has been ruled individually for the reason that Chinese Nationalists retreated to the island on the finish of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

Beijing interprets any transfer that offers worldwide legitimacy to Taiwan as an insult.

China officially downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania on Sunday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stated Lithuania should “pay a price” for flouting the “one China” precept.

China is now contemplating taking punitive measures concentrating on financial co-operation and commerce with Lithuania.

Mr Zhao stated China would take all the mandatory measures to safeguard nationwide sovereignty and territorial integrity and defend its core pursuits, firebrand Beijing-backed newspaper Global Times reported.

“The Chinese government had to lower diplomatic relations between the two countries … to safeguard its sovereignty and the basic norms of international relations,” the ministry stated in an announcement saying the downgrade to the cost d’affaires stage.

“The Lithuanian government must bear all consequences that arise from this.”

It added that Lithuania had “abandoned the political commitment made upon the establishment of diplomatic relations” with China.

In an editorial, the Global Times stated “punishing” Lithuania was like “swatting a fly”.

“Lithuania is just a clown that plays bravado and loyalty. China will definitely deal a heavy blow to it,” the Beijing-backed paper wrote.

Taiwan lives underneath the fixed menace of invasion by China.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton stated this month it might be inconceivable” for Australia to not be a part of the United States ought to Washington take motion to defend Taiwan.

Lithuania slammed as ‘crazy, tiny country’

Earlier this yr the Global Times warned Lithuania would “pay the price for its evil deed of breaking international rules” and described it as a “crazy, tiny country full of geopolitical fears”.

Lithuania has a inhabitants of lower than 3 million people – while China is probably the most populous nation on Earth with greater than 1.4 billion people. The Baltic nation’s land space is about 0.84 per cent the dimensions of Australia

China has turn into more and more delicate over any references to Taiwan on the worldwide stage.

In April, Communist Party mouthpiece People.cn blasted NASA for the “unforgivable” crime of together with “Taiwan” within the “Country” choice of the applying web page of the “Send your name to Mars” program.

China additionally demanded that Fashion large H&M change a “problematic” map on its web site.

The style retailer was instructed to check varied Chinese legal guidelines, “bolster its awareness of the national territory, and really ensure the standardised use of the Chinese map”.

The Swedish style retailer later agreed to amend the map.

Australia officially adheres to the one-China policy, which means it does not recognise Taiwan as a rustic.

It does nevertheless keep unofficial contacts with Taiwan selling financial, commerce and cultural pursuits, in accordance with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison triggered a stir in May when he stated on 3AW that Australia had “always understood” the “One Country Two Systems” arrangement and would “continue to follow our policies there”.

The opening of the Vilnius office is the latest signal that some Baltic and central European international locations are looking for nearer relations with Taiwan, even when that angers China.

In May, Lithuania introduced it was quitting China’s 17+1 cooperation discussion board with central and japanese European states, calling it “divisive”, AFP experiences.

Politicians within the Czech Republic have additionally pushed for nearer ties with Taiwan. Only 15 international locations officially recognise Taipei over Beijing.

Follow Andrew Backhouse on Twitter

Read associated subjects:China

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