US Warns Countries Threatening Lithuania Over Taiwan

( In response to a saber-rattling editorial in the Chinese state-run Global Times condemning Lithuania for opening a representative office for Taiwan, the US Under Secretary of State, Uzra Zeya, told reporters on Friday that the United States rejects attempts by “other countries” to interfere with Lithuania’s relationship with Taiwan.

Zeya, meeting in Vilnius with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Friday, told reporters that the United States reaffirms its support for Lithuania and rejects attempts by “other countries” to interfere with “Lithuania’s sovereign decision to deepen cooperation with Taiwan.”

It isn’t “other countries;” it is one country specifically: China. But, as is often the case with this State Department, they are completely unwilling to condemn China by name.

The editorial published last Sunday in the Global Times condemned Lithuania and warned that China would take swift action if other nations follow suit and open representative offices in Taiwan.

The Global Times warned if Taiwan’s so-called collusion with “external forces” grows out of control and adds to the cost of China maintaining its “one-China principle,” then Beijing will make “major adjustments” to its policy regarding the Taiwan Strait, including the use of military force against Taiwan to “achieve a diplomatic victory.”

Dismissing Lithuania as “trivial,” the Global Times editorial vowed that there will be no opportunity for them to “lead the Western world to shake the one-China principle.”

In response to Lithuania’s relations with Taiwan, on Sunday, Beijing announced that it will downgrade its diplomatic ties with the Baltic state. China’s foreign ministry accused Lithuania of “grossly” interfering in China’s “internal affairs.” The ministry demanded that Lithuania “correct its mistakes immediately, warning that Taiwan must not underestimate “the Chinese people’s firm determination and staunch resolve” in defending China’s national sovereignty.

In response to China’s warnings, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte argued that Lithuania is only seeking to improve its economic, cultural, and scientific relationship with Taiwan. She expressed disappointment in China’s response and reaffirmed that Lithuania’s opening this office does not mean there is any disagreement with Beijing’s “One China policy.”