Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a daily news briefing on July 14, 2021. (PHOTO / FMPRC.GOV.CN)
BEIJING – The Chinese Foreign Ministry officially sent a diplomatic note to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Friday, deciding to change the name of the Chinese diplomatic mission in the country to the Office of Charge d’Affaires.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced the change at a daily press briefing, adding China has asked Lithuania to change the name of its diplomatic mission in China accordingly.
China’s move is a legitimate counter-measure against Lithuania’s damage to China’s sovereignty, and the responsibility lies entirely with the Lithuanian side, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said
The spokesperson said that on Nov 18, Lithuania, disregarding China’s solemn representations, allowed the Taiwan authorities to set up a “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.”
This act openly created the false impression of “one China, one Taiwan” in the world, and China decided to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the charge d’affaires level to safeguard national sovereignty and basic norms governing international relations, Zhao said.
He pointed out that China’s move is a legitimate counter-measure against Lithuania’s damage to China’s sovereignty, and the responsibility lies entirely with the Lithuanian side.
The Chinese people cannot be insulted, and China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be violated, Zhao said. He added that China is firm in defending its national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and that any act that challenges China’s core interests will not succeed.
ALSO READ: US draws Lithuania into risky Taiwan game
“We urge Lithuania to abide by the recognized basic norms of international relations, immediately correct its mistake, and return to the correct track,” he said.