Claims that Lithuanian diplomats feared for their personal safety or China forbade Chinese citizens from working at Lithuanian diplomatic representation in China are nothing but lies, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
Lithuanian authorities said on Wednesday they had summoned their top diplomat back from China for "consultations."
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a regular press conference that China has always attached great importance to ensuring the security of the premises and personnel of foreign diplomatic institutions in China, including that of Lithuania, and safeguarding their normal operation.
The Lithuanian side also never raised the issue of personal safety to China, he added.
In terms of the damaged bilateral relations, the spokesperson said it is Lithuania that blatantly renounced the political commitment it has made in the communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and openly created the false impression of "one China, one Taiwan."
"The merits of the damaged relations between China and Lithuania are plain and clear," Wang said, warning that "if the Lithuanian side does not face reality, if it does not reflect and correct mistakes but instead shirks its own responsibility, then it will only challenge bilateral relations even more."
He urged the Lithuanian side to effectively abide by the basic norms of international relations, earnestly fulfill the commitments it has made, and correct the wrongdoings that undermine China's sovereignty and core interests as soon as possible.
On November 18, the Lithuanian government, in disregard of China's solemn representations, allowed the Taiwan authorities to set up the "Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania."
To safeguard national sovereignty and basic norms governing international relations, the Chinese government has announced the downgrading of China-Lithuania diplomatic relations to the chargé d'affaires level.
On November 26, the Chinese Foreign Ministry informed its Lithuanian counterpart via diplomatic note of its decision to rename China's diplomatic representation in Lithuania the Office of the Chargé d'Affaires of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Lithuania as well as its demand that the Lithuanian side change the name of its diplomatic representation in China accordingly.