January 21, 2022

Beyond Going Long

Complete UK News World

A group of Lithuanian diplomats left China, fearing for their security

Beijing also withdrew its ambassador from Lithuania.

Lithuanian diplomatic missions left China on Wednesday. Reuters reported, citing its sources.

Lithuania said in a statement that it had called its ambassador from China to “consult” and that the embassy would operate remotely.

An unnamed diplomatic source told Reuters that Beijing had left all 19 Lithuanian embassy staff with their families and were on their way to Paris.

Another diplomatic source familiar with the situation said the Lithuanian diplomats had left Chinese territory for “security reasons”. According to him, it was a reaction to “intimidation”.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on this report.

Taiwan officially opened its embassy in Vilnius under its own name in November. Lithuania agreed in July to allow Taiwan to open such an embassy. The move has created tensions in relations with China, which considers the autonomous island nation its territory and seeks to isolate it internationally.

Beijing withdrew its ambassador from Lithuania and asked Vilnius to do the same – which the Lithuanian government did. At the same time, China lowered the level of its diplomatic relations with Lithuania from ambassadors to charge d’affaires.

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