November 18th of this month, Taipei officially opened its representative office in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, which bearing the name “Taiwan” for the first time, after Taipei used to call such missions the “Taipei Representative Office”.
For its part, China escalated the tone of threats and intimidation towards Lithuania after this step, considering it a major diplomatic infringement and a flagrant violation of the “One China” principle.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stressed that Vilnius’ attempts to abandon the statement on establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing would undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and blatantly interfere in its internal affairs. As for Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, he said that his country would appreciate the support of the European Union in its dispute with China, after the United States agreed to provide it with financial support in the form of an export credit deal worth $600 million to help mitigate any financial losses resulting from the dispute. He noted that strengthening cooperation with Taiwan will cover many areas such as semiconductors, laser technologies and financial technologies.