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China downgrades ties with Lithuania over Taiwan

Christian Fernsby |
China has officially downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania after the Baltic state allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius.

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China’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Lithuania had ignored China’s “solemn stance” and the basic norms of international relations in allowing Taiwan to set up its representative office.

The move “undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs”, creating a “bad precedent internationally”, the ministry statement said, adding relations would be downgraded to the level of charge d’affaires, a rung below ambassador.

“We urge the Lithuanian side to correct its mistakes immediately and not to underestimate the Chinese people’s firm determination and staunch resolve to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

No matter what Taiwan does, it cannot change the fact that it is part of China, the ministry added.

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