China slams 'egregious' opening of Taiwan office in Lithuania

A photo taken on Nov18, 2021, shows the lobby of the Taiwanese Representative Office with flowers in Lithuania, Vilnius. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - China on Friday (Nov 19) slammed the opening of a de facto Taiwanese embassy in Lithuania as an "extremely egregious act," saying any move seeking Taiwanese independence was "doomed to fail."

"There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory," the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We demand that the Lithuanian side immediately correct its wrong decision."

Taipei announced on Thursday it had formally opened the office in Vilnius using the name Taiwan, a significant diplomatic departure that defied a pressure campaign by Beijing.

"The Lithuanian government, in disregard of the Chinese side's strong objection and repeated dissuasion, has approved the establishment of the so-called 'Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania,'" said the statement from Beijing.

"The Chinese government expresses strong protest over and firm objection to this extremely egregious act.

"The Lithuanian side shall be responsible for all the ensuing consequences."

China baulks at any use of the word Taiwan that lends a sense of international legitimacy to the democratic self-ruled island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize, by force if needed.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.