US, Lithuania agree on ‘bilateral coordination action’ against China over Taiwan row

WION Web Team
Vilnius Published: Aug 22, 2021, 03:59 PM(IST)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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US secretary of state Antony Blinken spoke with Lithuania`s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Saturday, after China on August 10 threatened to withdraw its ambassador to Vilnius and asked the latter to recall their envoy from Beijing.

The United States has agreed on “bilateral coordination action” to help Lithuania withstand the diplomatic onslaught from China after it allowed Taiwan to establish an embassy under its own name in the Baltic country.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken spoke with Lithuania`s foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Saturday, weeks after China threatened to withdraw its ambassador to Vilnius and asked the latter to recall their envoy from Beijing.

“Blinken and Gabrielius Landsbergis agreed that China’s unilateral aggressive actions and political pressure on Lithuania were totally unacceptable,” Reuters quoted a statement from the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry published on Sunday.

However, the statement did not dwell into the specifics of the “bilateral action”.

Also read | China asks Lithuania's envoy to leave Beijing over Taiwan row

In a separate statement, the US department of state said, “Blinken underscored ironclad US solidarity with our NATO ally and EU partner Lithuania in the face of the People`s Republic of China`s coercive behaviour.”

The row between China and Lithuania erupted last month when Taiwan, which China considers to be a part of its territory under its One Country, Two Systems’ policy, said it was setting up a representative office in Vilnius under the name of ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Taipei’ — an act Beijing considers as a diplomatic insult.

Protesting the move, China asked Lithuania's envoy to leave Beijing.

However, Lithuania's foreign ministry expressed regret over Beijing's decision.

“While respecting the principle of one China, (Lithuania) is determined to develop mutually beneficial relations with Taiwan,” the ministry said in a statement.

The United States is Taiwan's strongest international backer and main supplier of arms, according to Reuters.

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