Taiwan on Saturday denounced China for sanctioning Lithuania’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Agne Vaiciukeviciute after the Lithuanian delegation made US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi-style Taiwan visit. Labelling the move as a “bullying action”, Taiwan said that China is indulging in groundless behaviour after minister Vaiciukeviciute arrived in Taipei on August 7 for a five-day tour. Lithuania and Taiwan pledged bolstering ties and future cooperation.

Beijing, however, slammed the Baltic nation for what it described as “undermining mainland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” It reminded the Republic of Lithuania’s undertaken obligation to not establish official relations or engage in official contact with Taiwan, and recognise that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory under the ‘One China’ policy.

“In response to the egregious and provocative act of Vaiciukeviciute, China decides to adopt sanctions on Vaiciukeviciute, to suspend all forms of exchange with the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, and to suspend exchange and cooperation with Lithuania in the field of international road transport,” PRC’s ministry of foreign affairs noted in a statement issued subsequently after Lithuanian minister’s visit.

Lithuania side ‘repeatedly breaks promises, which is blatant breach of faith’: PRC

After Beijing sanctioned Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications, she expressed regret over the PRC’s decision to suspend cooperation with Lithuania in the field of international road transport. “Lithuania chooses to cooperate with countries willing to cooperate with us,” Vaiciukeviciute told a news conference in Taipei.

She later iterated that her tour was planned months ahead and that it involved normal bilateral exchanges and cooperation between the two ally nations. Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications was baffled at China’s retaliatory measure. It is to be noted that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) also resorted to ceasing all the channels of bilateral communications with the Baltic republic’s ministry and cooperation on international road transport. Lithuanian side “repeatedly breaks its promises, which is a blatant breach of faith,” said China’s foreign ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a presser.

“China strongly condemns the Lithuanian anti-China forces for their deliberate violation of China’s sovereignty and gross interference in China’s internal affairs,” Wang asserted.

Ties between Lithuania and China soured since the Baltic nation ignored Beijing’s strong objection and repeated dissuasion against maintaining ties with the self-administered island nation and opened the so-called “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had repeatedly warned Lithuania of ‘undisclosed retaliatory measures’ for opening the De facto embassy in Vilnius despite the mainland’s opposition. Zhao had iterated what measures China will take, Lithuania shall “wait and see” when asked by a reporter about China’s response with respect to the development. Lijian accused Lithuania of flagrantly violating the One-China principle, and renouncing the political commitment made by Lithuania in the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.