China Warns Lithuania Over Taiwan Representative Office

China Warns Lithuania Over Taiwan Representative Office

BEIJING (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th July, 2021) China calls on Lithuania to strictly observe the "one China" principle and not send false signals to supporters of Taiwan's independence, the Taiwan Affairs Office of State Council said on Tuesday, after the breakaway island announced plans to open an office in the Baltic country.

Earlier in the day, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that the island will open a representative office in Vilnius as part of the strategy to expand and deepen relations with countries "in the EU and throughout Europe." Earlier this month, Lithuanian Economy Minister Ausrine Armonaite said that Vilnius plans to open a trade representative office in Taiwan in the fall.

"Taiwan is a part of China. We oppose [the idea that] countries having diplomatic relations with China are also developing official ties with Taiwan. We urge Lithuania to observe the 'one China' principle and not send false signals to the forces advocating Taiwan's independence," office spokesperson Zhu Fenglian said in a statement, published on the Weibo social network.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry similarly warned Vilnius against the move.

"China strongly opposes any official contacts between Lithuania and Taiwan, opposes the mutual opening of so-called representative offices between them. We call on the Lithuanian side to adhere to the one-China policy, to respect the pledges made during the establishment of diplomatic relations. We also warn the Taiwanese authorities that Taiwan's independence is a dead end," the ministry's spokesman Zhao Lijian told a briefing.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan maintains that it is an autonomous country and has political and economic relations with several other nations.