VILNIUS (TASS): Vilnius has not received any requests from Washington to change the name of Taiwan’s mission, which has caused Lithuania to come under pressure from China, which opposes such a name. This was announced on Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Baltic Republic.
“Reports that have appeared in the international media that the US administration is asking Lithuania to change the name of Taiwan’s mission do not correspond to reality,” the report says. “The Foreign Ministry has not received such requests.”
The appearance of these rumors was regarded by the Foreign Ministry as a disinformation campaign.
“The purpose of this campaign is to create tension between the allies. The name of the representative office is a sovereign decision of the parties concerned,” the Foreign Ministry stressed.
Lithuania in November 2021 opened a representative office in Taiwan, not Taipei, as other countries do.
This step provoked a crisis in relations with China. China, opposed to representation under that name, withdrew its ambassador from Vilnius and offered to do the same to Lithuania.
On November 21, the PRC government decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of chargé d’affaires, and on November 26 sent a note on changing the status of the Chinese diplomatic mission in Vilnius from an embassy to a representative office of the PRC.
Beijing also used economic levers: it suspended freight rail transportation to Lithuania, reduced the credit limit for Lithuanian enterprises operating in the Chinese market, and stopped issuing permits for the export of food products. In early December, the PRC deleted Lithuania as a state from the database of its customs system.
As a result, Lithuanian exporters could not formalize the goods delivered to China.
Beijing also warned international companies about the undesirability of deliveries to China of products manufactured with the participation of Lithuanian partners.
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