China’s envoy to the United Kingdom issued a statement on Thursday, urging London not to create “new obstacles” in its relationship with Beijing. His comment came after British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted that she had discussed “our approach to China” with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis in London.
“China urges the UK to have a right understanding of the relevant issue, handle it properly, and refrain from creating new obstacles for the development of the China–UK relationship,” Ambassador Zheng Zeguang said in the statement.
Zeguang dismissed claims that China was threatening Lithuania, saying “China is a force for peace and stability”.
“Lithuania’s handling of the Taiwan question gravely contravenes the One China principle and severely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China’s response to this announcement is legitimate and reasonable," he said.
The diplomatic stand-off between Lithuania and China stems largely from Vilnius’ decision to host a “Taiwanese” office. Beijing considers it as an attempt to recognise Taiwan, which China says is a breakaway province.
Lithuania dismisses the claim that a “Taiwanese” representation violates the One China principle, which says there can only be one Chinese government.