China on Friday approved Lithuanian Deputy Minister for Transport and Communications Agne Viukavicius for his visit to Taiwan, the latest development in an ongoing diplomatic dispute between Beijing and the Baltic state over Taipei’s support.
VASIUKViciate arrived in Taiwan with a delegation on August 7 for a five-day visit amid intense military exercises launched by China to protest US House Representative Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-government island, which Beijing claims as its territory. Is.
“This visit tramples on the one-China principle, seriously interferes with China’s internal affairs, and undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday night.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also suspended cooperation with Lithuania in the transport sector in retaliation.
“In response to the serious and provocative act of Vaicuukevičiūtė, China decides to adopt sanctions on Vaiciukevičiūtė, suspend all forms of exchange with the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, and exchange and cooperation with Lithuania in the field of international road takes transport,” the ministry said in the statement.
The Lithuanian minister’s visit to Taiwan was rare and high profile.
Taiwan News, an online newspaper, said, “WasiUKVisite led a delegation of 11 government officials and electric bus business representatives to deepen bilateral exchanges related to smart and green transportation, 5G communications and electric buses.” The group met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, top government officials and business representatives.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry last week quoted a “Communication on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Lithuania” as saying that the Baltic country would refer to the mainland government as “the sole legal government of China and Taiwan as an inseparable part of Chinese territory”. recognizes it”. , adding that, under the arrangement, Lithuania “is not obliged not to establish official relations or to engage in official contact with Taiwan”.
Relations between China and Lithuania ended last year, after the country of about 2.8 million people allowed Taiwan to establish a Taiwanese representative office in Lithuania – a de facto embassy – in the capital Vilnius.
China retaliated by downgrading its diplomatic ties with Lithuania.
It was the first representative office from the island that was allowed to use Taiwan – and not Taipei – to identify itself in the European Union (EU), a move that left China furious.
In February, China stopped buying beef, dairy products and beer from Lithuania, with the General Administration of China citing “lack of documents” as the reason behind the suspension, reports Lithuania.
In August 2021, China demanded that Lithuania recall its Beijing envoy and announced that it was withdrawing its own ambassador from the Baltic country in the same line.
Upon the approval of the Lithuanian minister, analysts told the state-run tabloid, the Global Times, that in making the decision, “China has once again shown the world that it will not back down an inch on provocations that trample on one-Lithuanian China doctrine by banning the official, and Lithuania could face further consequences, including severing diplomatic ties, if it continues on the wrong track.