习近平向中国-海合会国家产业与投资合作论坛致贺信
习近平向中国-海合会国家产业与投资合作论坛致贺信
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'Chasing Lithuanian diplomats from Beijing' pure defamation: FM spokesperson

Source: Xinhua | 2021-12-29

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- It is pure defamation to say that China "chased" Lithuanian diplomats from Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday, adding China believes the international community will not buy Lithuania's one-sided story.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to a query on an article in The Economist, which said that China "unilaterally" downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the chargé d'affaires level and "forced" Lithuania's embassy personnel out of China.

Zhao said it is Lithuania that has acted in bad faith and openly created the false impression of "one China, one Taiwan" in the world, which gravely undermines China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and damages the political foundation for an ambassadorial-level diplomatic relationship.

It is entirely legitimate and reasonable for the Chinese side to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the chargé d'affaires level, out of the need to safeguard China's core interests and the one-China principle, a basic norm governing international relations, Zhao said.

He said that, with relations downgraded to the chargé d'affaires level, China asked Lithuania's diplomatic representation in China to reapply for identification cards for its diplomats and administrative and technical personnel. This is a normal procedure of China's support for and management of foreign missions in China, which complies with international law and common international practice.

At the same time, China protects the security and lawful rights of all diplomatic missions in China and their normal operation, including Lithuania's diplomatic representation, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Zhao said.

Zhao expressed China's firm opposition to Lithuania's abrupt decision to pull out all its diplomats from China without prior notification to the Chinese side, and its subsequent spreading of false information to shift the blame.

"We believe the international community will adopt an objective and just position and refuse to buy Lithuania's one-sided story," he said.

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