BEIJING: Lithuania, a small country of just 30 million people, has refused to submit to China over the Taiwan issue. Lithuania has refused to bow to China, and China has done something unthinkable. This small country has allowed Taiwan to open a representative office. This angered China, which severed diplomatic ties with Lithuania. As Lithuania is an influential country in the European Union, the move is expected to affect Beijing’s relations with the European Union (EU).
A statement from China’s Foreign Ministry said that China is the only legitimate government in the world, representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan alone could not accept the opening of the office. It is noteworthy that although Taiwan has been a separate democracy, China has so far claimed to have joined the People’s Republic of China without being recognized as a separate country.
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Lithuania has ignored China’s serious position and given permission to set up a representative office in Lithuania in Taiwan’s name. China has since withdrawn its ambassador from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. Qi Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the Chinese Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times that “the recall of the ambassador shows that Sino-Lithuanian diplomatic relations have been severely affected.”
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However, experts believe that the European Union (Europe) may take action against China in favor of Lithuania. Earlier, in May 1981, after the Netherlands agreed to sell a submarine to Taiwan, China made a similar decision, severing diplomatic relations with the Netherlands.
On the other hand, Lithuania’s Economy Minister Austrin Armonet said it would sign a $ 600 million export loan agreement with the U.S. Export-Import Bank to counter the economic impact of Beijing. China’s conflict with Lithuania, Beijing’s relations with the European Union continue to suffer over Brussels’ allegations of human rights abuses by the Communist Party in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.
It is noteworthy that in recent weeks, China has sent more than 200 military aircraft into Taiwanese airspace, creating tension as China continues to claim Taiwan.
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