Lithuania Recalls Top Envoy to China for Consultations Amid Rift Over Taiwan

© AP Photo / Andy WongFILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo, a Chinese national flag flutters against the office buildings in Shanghai, China
FILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo, a Chinese national flag flutters against the office buildings in Shanghai, China - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Lithuania announced Wednesday that it had recalled its top diplomat in China for consultations and that the embassy in Beijing would operate remotely.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that Lithuania's Charge d’affaires ad interim in China Audra Ciapiene returns to Vilnius for consultations," a statement read.

China downgraded its diplomatic relations with the small Baltic nation in November after Taiwan's representative office was opened in Vilnius. China claims Taiwan as its territory.
The Lithuanian ministry said consular services to Lithuanians in China would be provided remotely and in "limited capacity". Lithuania is open to talk with China on a mutually beneficial arrangement, it added.
Relations between Beijing and Vilnius deteriorated last month, with China downgrading its links to Lithuania after the latter allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in the country. It became a bone of contention because other Taiwanese offices in Europe (and even in the United States) are named after Taipei, and do not mention Taiwan itself.
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