China “is not willing to talk” about allowing envoys to resume work and Vilnius will not accept “ultimatums” from Beijing, according to Asta Skaisgirytė, Lithuanian president’s senior adviser.
On August 10, China’s Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and told Vilnius to follow suit. Relations between the two countries turned sour after Lithuania allowed Taipei to open a representation in Vilnius using the name “Taiwan”, a move which Beijing sees as an attempt to recognise the country that it considers as a breakaway province and therefore a breach of the so-called One China principle.
“Unfortunately, China is not yet willing to talk about ambassadors resuming their office,” Skaisgirytė told LRT RADIO.
Lithuania wants to work toward improving diplomatic relations with China, but it would only be possible if there was mutual respect, according to Skaisgirytė.
“The Lithuanian president has repeated several times that there was no intention to complicate Lithuanian–Chinese relations,” she said. “On the contrary, we are ready to maintain friendly relations based on mutual commitment and benefit.”
“I want to stress respect. We cannot accept one big country’s thinking that it can influence a smaller state’s policy with ultimatums,” she added.
According to Skaisgirytė, poor relations with China will not lead to major economic losses to Lithuania.
“Trade volumes, especially our export volumes to China, are very small. Certain losses are possible, but we should not exaggerate them,” the advisor said.