CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Lithuania denies special immigration plan for HK residents, dares not to challenge China's bottom line twice: observers
Published: Aug 29, 2021 10:48 PM
View of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania Photo: VCG

View of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania Photo: VCG

Amid China's quick and harsh countermeasures against Lithuania's provocation over the Taiwan question, the Baltic country seems to try to avoid challenging China's bottom line twice as it cannot take the consequences, Chinese observers said after Lithuania refuted online posts claiming it would provide a special immigration pathway to Hong Kong residents.

Multiple social media posts circulating online recently claimed that Lithuania will provide a special immigration pathway for Hong Kong residents regardless of what kind of passport they have or what their visa status is. But Lithuania's Honorary Consul in Hong Kong and the Lithuanian government said the claim was false, AFP reported on Friday.

The denial showed that Lithuania dare not risk challenging China's bottom line twice as it could not bear the potential consequences such as China possibly cutting off diplomatic ties with it, Liu Zuokui, a research fellow on European studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

If Lithuania overreached on its anti-China moves, it would fail to gain support from the European Union (EU) and may face isolation in the bloc as offending China goes against EU interests, Liu noted.

Though Lithuania and some politicians in other European countries have tried to stir up anti-China topics and played the "Taiwan card," they are doomed to fail, Chinese observers said.

The special immigration plan posts came amid the increasing China-Lithuania tensions after China announced on August 10 to recall its ambassador to Lithuania and demanded that the Lithuanian government recall its ambassador to China, in response to the Baltic country's act to allow the secessionist Taiwan authorities to open a "representative office" in Lithuania under the name of "Taiwan."

The chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees of 13 European and US Parliaments on Friday issued a joint statement on Lithuania's relations with the island of Taiwan, which welcomes Lithuania's intention to develop "economic relations" with the island, criticizes the so-called China's aggressive behavior on Lithuania and calls on their governments, the EU and other allies to fully support Lithuania.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Mission to the EU on Saturday expressed strong opposition to the joint statement. 

"Some people try to downplay Lithuania's wrong acts as developing 'economic relations' with Taiwan, while accusing China's legitimate response to safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity as aggressive actions and interference in Lithuania's internal affairs. Without any logic behind it, such an accusation intends to call white black and violates basic norms in international relations," the Chinese Mission to the EU spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Lithuania said Saturday that the Lithuanian government's decision to allow Taiwan authorities to open a "representative office" under the name of "Taiwan" is a flagrant violation of the spirit of the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania, and also severely undermines China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Taiwan question is a matter of China's core interests and national feelings. The Chinese people's determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is also ironclad, and our will to realize the reunification of China at an earlier date is indestructible, said the Chinese Embassy spokesperson.

The spokesperson pointed out that some people pretend to be ignorant and deliberately neglect the wrongdoings of Lithuania, while making accusations against China's act of justice on safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. "What is the real intention of such a wrongful act, which blatantly violates the norms of international relations?" questioned the spokesperson.


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