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2022.08.05 11:55

Beijing envoy slams Lithuanian FM’s remarks on Pelosi’s Taiwan trip

BNS 2022.08.05 11:55

The Chinese diplomatic mission in Lithuania has criticised Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis’ welcoming comments about Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, saying they are damaging to Vilnius-Beijing relations.

“Those erroneous remarks made by some Lithuanian politicians further undermine the bilateral relations between China and Lithuania, and damage the credibility of the Lithuanian country and the fundamental interests of its people,” the mission said in a statement.

Landsbergis was the only senior EU politician to publicly support US House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Read more: Lithuanian FM hails Pelosi’s Taiwan visit: she opened door for ‘other defenders of democracy’

After the official’s plane landed on the self-ruled island, the Lithuanian foreign minister posted on Twitter that Pelosi had “opened the door to Taiwan much wider”.

“I am sure other defenders of freedom and democracy will be walking through [that door] very soon,” Landsbergis said at the time.

Meanwhile, Beijing has criticised Pelosi’s trip, saying it violates the One-China policy.

According to Beijing’s envoy, Lithuania “deliberately caters to certain countries and group forces, manipulates ideology, and confrontation between the East and the West will only lead to conflict and confrontation”.

“Lithuania violates the One-China principle and basic norms governing international relations and condones ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist acts that will only further escalate tensions across the Taiwan Strait and undermine regional peace and stability. Seeking ‘Taiwan independence’ leads to a dead end, so does supporting ‘Taiwan independence’,” the diplomatic mission stated.

There is one China in the world and Taiwan is “an inalienable part of China’s territory”, it said.

In protest at Pelosi’s visit, China has been holding large-scale military exercises around Taiwan since Thursday.

In the past, warships and planes rarely crossed the middle line of the strait, but Chinese incursions have increased since Beijing declared in 2020 that the unofficial line no longer existed.

Crossing this line is sensitive because the Taiwan Strait is only 130 km wide at its narrowest point, so incursions increase the risk of military incidents.