News2019.09.03 10:00

Beijing hopes ‘events tarnishing China will not happen again’ in Vilnius

BNS 2019.09.03 10:00

The Chinese Embassy in Lithuania said on Monday it disagreed with the Lithuanian government's accusations over the incident last month when a group of supporters of the Chinese government were involved in a conflict with Lithuanian activists who were voicing support to Hong Kong.

The Chinese Embassy says Beijing supporters gathered in the Cathedral Square in central Vilnius on August 23 spontaneously, and the embassy provides only consular assistance to its citizens.

The Chinese Embassy called Hong Kong protesters rioters and rejected the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry's reproach over embassy staff violating the public order.

Read more: Chinese diplomats crossed the line, Lithuanian Foreign Minister says

"The Chinese citizens in Lithuania abide by the laws of Lithuania and have no intention to disturb the activities commemorating ‘the Baltic Way’, held at Vilnius Cathedral Square on August 23," the embassy stated in a comment sent to BNS.

"It is a spontaneous action of the Chinese citizens expressing their dissatisfaction with a handful of anti-China activists’ support to the rioters in Hong Kong, China. The rights of expression of the Chinese citizens in Lithuania should be respected and protected," it reads.

"It is the Embassy’s obligation to render consular protections to the Chinese citizens overseas, and the Embassy did nothing that violated the public order."

Read more: Lithuanian Foreign Ministry investigates Chinese Embassy's involvement in Hong Kong rally in Vilnius

The embassy also underlined it "strongly hopes that such events tarnishing the Chinese government will not happen again in the future."

Read more: Hong Kong solidarity rally in Vilnius met with Chinese counter-protesters – photos

Earlier on Monday, Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the Chinese ambassador and handed a diplomatic note over the embassy's possible involvement in a counter-protest during a Hong Kong support rally in late August.

Read more: Europe should re-evaluate extradition to China – opinion

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