Beijing: China has decided to recall its ambassador from Vilnius after the Lithuanian authorities allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in the country, local media reported on Tuesday.
In July, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu announced that Taiwan would open a representative office in Vilnius. The Chinese Foreign Ministry today strongly opposed Vilnius’ decision saying “the government “decided to recall the Chinese ambassador from Lithuania and asked the Lithuanian government to recall its ambassador from China.”
“Despite numerous notes and warnings from the Chinese side, the Lithuanian government recently announced that it would allow the Taiwanese administration to open a ‘representative office’ on behalf of ‘Taiwan’, which became a gross violation of the communique on establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Last month, Wu had said that the country will be opening a representative office in Lithuania. Lithuanian Economy Minister Ausrine Armonaite said her country would open a trade office in Taiwan in October or November.
During a presser, Wu had said the governments of Taiwan and Lithuania agreed to open a representative office in their respective capitals. It is said to be Taiwan’s second representative office in Europe. The first was opened in Slovakia in 2003.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan located off the south-eastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Earlier, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis in July had said the establishment of a representative office in Taiwan and other Asian countries is not intended to counter China but to reach out to the Indo-Pacific region out of national interest, Taiwan News reported.