China considers Taiwan part of China and countries that treat Taiwan in any way as an independent country usually get strong reactions from Beijing’s rulers.
Ambassador Gui Kongyu wrote in the letter, which was sent to the Foreign Affairs Committee, that Forslund’s support for Lithuania in this matter is seen as a violation of the China principle. Sweden usually follows the order otherwise, says the controversial ambassador.
“In the field of international relations, the rule is that Taiwan is part of China. The United States and some other countries always require other countries to follow norms in international relations, but they often violate them. Your participation in the current statement violates the principle of China,” writes the ambassador.
He expects, he wrote, that members of parliament will not support Taiwan separatists and will not use the issue for anti-China activities as this may disrupt the development of China’s relations with Sweden.
“I wasn’t surprised, I just expected there would be a reaction one way or the other,” Kenneth J Forslund tells TT.
The statement that prompted the ambassador to respond was published on the website of the Lithuanian Parliament on August 27, and the next day the Chinese reaction came.
According to Forslund, the other signatories received a similar reprimand. In addition to the same, 13 parliamentarians from the United States, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Ireland, the Czech Republic, the Baltic states and the European Parliament signed. They hold senior positions on relevant foreign affairs committees and are part of a larger group that has frequent foreign affairs meetings. Every now and then they make statements and Forslund says he sometimes finds it helpful to get behind it, and sometimes not.
The signatories write that they condemn China’s political, diplomatic and economic pressure on Lithuania and that it constitutes unwelcome interference in the internal affairs of an EU and NATO country.
They welcome, they write, Lithuania’s efforts to develop economic relations with Taiwan.
I responded hard
What China’s reaction to it was that Lithuania and Taiwan intended to open representation with each other and that in Lithuania it should be called representation of Taiwan, not Taipei. Taipei is the capital of Taiwan.
The ambassador affirms that he is ready to discuss the matter whenever the opportunity arises.
– I haven’t decided yet whether we should invite him, says Forslund, adding that they’ve had “candid” meetings before.
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