Lithuania's act of allowing the Taiwan authorities to set up a "Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania" has blatantly renounced the political commitment made by Lithuania in the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Monday, adding that the Lithuanian government must bear all the ensuing consequences and put right its mistake immediately.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing, answering a query on a Lithuanian Foreign Ministry statement saying it regretted China's decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the chargé d'affaires level.
Zhao said that Lithuania, in disregard of China's strong protest and repeated representations, allowed the Taiwan authorities to set up a "Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania", which openly created the false impression of "one China, one Taiwan" in the world, creating an egregious precedent.
"Given the fact that the political foundation for an ambassadorial-level diplomatic relationship has been damaged by Lithuania, the Chinese government, out of the need to safeguard national sovereignty and basic norms governing international relations, has no choice but to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the chargé d'affaires level. The Lithuanian government must bear all the ensuing consequences," he said.
Zhao said the quibble by the Lithuanian side that the representative office does not have diplomatic status is purely a cover-up, noting that the Taiwan authorities claimed that the establishment of a "Taiwanese Representative Office" in Lithuania was a "major diplomatic breakthrough" for Taiwain, as well as a so-called "major diplomatic outcome." Zhao said the action is a confession from the Taiwan authorities and "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, and a solid evidence for their "Taiwan independence" separatist acts.
The spokesperson urged the Lithuanian side to put right its mistake immediately and not to underestimate the Chinese people's strong resolve to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Finally, I want to stress that Lithuania has got to where it is today obviously at the instigation of certain major country, but what has been hurt is Lithuania's own interests. We call on other countries to act in light of their own fundamental interests and international justice, and refrain from being a pawn in senseless confrontation," he said.