China denounces opening of Taiwan office in Lithuania as ‘egregious act’

by BERNAMA / pic by AFP

BEIJING – The Chinese authorities expressed strong protest to the opening of a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius, Lithuania on Thursday, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

“The Chinese government expresses strong protest over and firm objection to this extremely ‘egregious act’, and will take all necessary measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Sputnik quoted the spokesperson as saying in a statement.

He stressed that the establishment of Taiwanese representative office in Lithuania undermined the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

“We demand that the Lithuanian side immediately correct its wrong decision. We also have this stern warning for the Taiwanese authorities — seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ by soliciting foreign support is a totally misguided attempt that is doomed to fail,” the statement said.

On Aug 10, China recalled its ambassador from Vilnius due to the fact that the Lithuanian authorities had allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in the country. On Sept 4, Lithuania, in response, recalled its ambassador to China for consultations.

Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own democratically-elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence.