Global Times, the propaganda daily under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party, has warned of “countermeasures” if Lithuania continues deepening relations with Taipei, as the country’s delegation is visiting Taiwan.
A delegation led by Lithuanian Deputy Transport Minister Agnė Vaiciukevičiūtė is visiting Taiwan this week. According to the Chinese publication’s editorial, the visit shows that the country continues “going further down the wrong path supporting ‘Taiwan secessionists’”.
Last week, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite China’s warnings. Lithuanian Foreign Minister hailed the US official’s visit, saying she “has opened the door to Taiwan much wider”.
According to Global Times, Lithuania was among the few countries that welcomed Pelosi’s visit to Taipei and that “stand on the opposite side of China and on the opposite side of justice”.
“Landsbergis’ erroneous remarks and Lithuanian politicians’ visit to the island of Taiwan is an ugly political stunt aimed at attempting to flatter the US and win Washington’s favour,” the Chinese propaganda daily wrote.
“Lithuania deliberately caters to the US and further escalates tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Lithuania must correct its wrongdoing, otherwise it will further undermine the already damaged bilateral relations and damage the interests of the Lithuanian people,” it added.
Chinese state media and officials have previously accused Lithuania of trying to please Washington by building relations with Taiwan. Tensions in the Taiwan Strait escalated when, in response to Pelosi’s visit, Beijing launched the largest ever military exercises in the region.
“With tensions escalating in the Taiwan Strait, the Chinese mainland authorities last week announced economic punishment targeting ‘Taiwan secessionists’. If some Lithuanian politicians and enterprises choose to stand side by side with ‘Taiwan secessionists’, they are expected to meet the same fate,” the Global Times’ editorial said.
Lithuanian politicians will be “100 percent responsible for any disruptions to bilateral cooperation” if they “continue to undermine China’s core interest”, the Chinese publication added.
Last year, relations between Vilnius and Beijing soured, as Lithuania opened a Taiwanese Representative Office under the island’s name. China said the move violated its “One China” policy. In response, Beijing downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania and imposed trade restrictions on the country, forcing the EU to turn to the World Trade Organization in protest.