In protest against the opening of a Taiwanese representation in Lithuania, China announced in November that it had decided to recognize diplomatic representation before the Chief Affairs Officer (affidavit) level.
China no longer calls its diplomatic mission in Vilnius an embassy, but an office of a trustee.
The Lithuanian Ambassador returned to Lithuania at the request of Beijing in September, but now the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim has not remained at the mission.
“Audra čiapienė, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Lithuania in China, returns to Vilnius for consultations,” the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
According to the Ministry’s comment, “discussions are currently underway on the technical circumstances of the Lithuanian Representation in China and the Chinese Representation in Lithuania – pending a decision by China to extend the validity of accreditations of Lithuanian diplomats in China.”
“As there is no deputy diplomat in Beijing, the embassy continues to work remotely. As before, consular services to Lithuanian citizens in China continue to be provided on a limited scale by remote control. Lithuania is ready to continue discussions with China and to fully restore the work of the embassy when an agreement suitable for both parties is reached, ”says the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Minister Gabriel Landsberg told reporters that the two sides differ on the renaming of the mission.
“I want to say very strictly that this is not the closure of the embassy. The diplomat returns for consultations due to the differences of opinion between us and China on the possibilities of changing the name of the mission, “G. Landsbergis said. It is quoted by the BNS news agency.
According to him, Lithuania may consider “various proposals” to change the name of the representative office, but they must be harmonized with Lithuanian law.
“China is trying to change its name to one that is not provided for in our law, now I will not say exactly, they have just sent their offer. We can consider proposals, but they must be in line with our law. “Any unilateral decision to change the name of another state, if the state refuses to do so itself or does not have the opportunity to do so, is contrary to the Vienna Convention,” the Minister said.
Disputes between Lithuania and abroad arose when the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in July that a Chinese representation in Taiwan would operate in the country. It was opened in November. The institution is officially called the “Taiwanese Representation” in Lithuanian and the “Taiwanese Representation” in English. According to experts, the name of the Chinese language sounds like “Taiwan’s representation”.
The Chinese communist government opposes the use of the Taiwanese name. Beijing sees the island as part of China and promises to secure control of it, not to mention military means. In other European countries and the United States, Taiwan’s representations are called Taipei’s economic and cultural offices, thus emphasizing the non-political nature of representation.
China claims that by allowing the Taiwanese mission to operate, Lithuania violated its 1991 commitment not to “establish or promote official relations with Taiwan.”
Lithuanian business claims that China has severely restricted trade relations due to the opening of a representative office.
The Lithuanian government rejects the accusations, saying that the Taiwanese mission does not have diplomatic status, and the Taiwanese have the right to decide for themselves how to name their mission.
The Chinese Communists have recently sought to make international diplomatic isolation of Taiwan. The United States, for its part, is encouraging the inclusion of Taiwanese people in the international format.
The decision of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Taiwanese mission received contradictory assessments.
Proponents say the move has helped Lithuania gain more U.S. attention, other Western countries are opening up to Taiwan, and Lithuania has done the right thing by supporting democracy in Taiwan, which is under pressure from communist China.
Critics say that breaking the established diplomatic tradition due to the name Lithuania suffers significant losses, the potential benefits of which have not been revealed.
the text was supplemented by quotations from Minister G.Landsberg