Taiwan on Sunday denounced China for taking retaliatory measures against countries that seek to develop ties with Taipei. The remarks came in a statement from the Mainland Affair Council following China’s interference in the internal matters of Taiwan and Lithuania, Focus Taiwan reported. The MAC termed China’s response to countries for their exchanges with Taiwan as “barbaric”.
“The decision by Taiwan and Lithuania to open reciprocal representative offices and develop a friendly, cooperative relationship reflects a basic right for members of the international community, the MAC said in a statement. “This is not an internal affair as described by China” but a matter between Taiwan and Lithuania, Beijing has no right to comment on, it said.
As reported by Focus Taiwan, the MAC also called on Beijing to respect international norms and the cross-strait reality, and deal rationally with relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. For weeks, Lithuania has been facing heat from Beijing after the Baltic nation allowed the opening of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Vilnius.
Taiwan typically uses “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office” or “Taipei Representative Office” as the name for its diplomatic offices in most countries, mainly due to the host countries’ preference to avoid any semblance of treating Taiwan as a separate country in light of their “one-China” policy, reported Focus Taiwan.
This came as Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades. Taipei has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island.