Washington supports its European partners and allies as they develop mutually beneficial relations with Taiwan, the US Department of State said on Tuesday, adding that each country should be able to interpret its own â€œone Chinaâ€ policy.
US Department of State spokesman Ned Price made the remarks at a news conference when asked to comment on China demanding Lithuania to withdraw its ambassador from Beijing earlier that day.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 20 announced its plan to establish a representative office in Lithuania the first office in Europe to have â€œTaiwaneseâ€ in its name.
Lithuania plans to open a representative office in Taiwan by this fall, although the two nations do not have formal diplomatic ties.
â€œWell, we do stand in solidarity with our NATO ally Lithuania and we condemn the PRCâ€™s [People’s Republic of China] recent retaliatory actions, including the recall of Beijingâ€™s ambassador from Vilnius and demanding Lithuania recall its ambassador from Beijing,â€ Price said.
â€œTaiwan is a global leader in public health and advanced manufacturing and democratic governance, to name just a few areas in which the international community including the United States benefits from engagement with Taiwan,â€ he added.
â€œEach country should be able to determine the contours of its own â€˜one Chinaâ€™ policy without outside coercion. We have done just that,â€ he said.
Asked what actions the US expects Japan to take to keep stability across the Taiwan Strait after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese National Security Adviser Akiba Takeo met in Washington on Monday Price reiterated the USâ€™ support for a peaceful resolution of cross-strait relations.
â€œWe have urged Beijingâ€¦ to cease its military, its diplomatic, its economic pressure against Taiwan and to engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan,â€ Price said.
In Taipei, the foreign ministry said it welcomed Washingtonâ€™s comments.
The ministry thanked US President Joe Bidenâ€™s administration for continuously supporting Taiwan, and backing Taiwan and Lithuania in establishing representative offices in each otherâ€™s countries, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said in a statement yesterday.
Taiwan would continue to develop practical and mutually beneficial relations with all like-minded countries, without flinching under outside coercion, she added.
On Tuesday, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed regret over Beijingâ€™s move to recall its ambassador, but said that the country is determined to pursue mutually beneficial ties with Taiwan, like many other countries in the EU and around the world.
If Lithuania does not cease its engagements with Taiwan, it is not impossible that China and Lithuania might sever relations, Liu Zuokui, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciencesâ€™ Department of Central and Eastern European Studies, told the Chinese-language Global Times on Tuesday.
Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for the European External Action Service, the EUâ€™s diplomatic body, told the Central News Agency that while the ambassador recall was a bilateral matter between China and Lithuania, developments in Beijingâ€™s ties with individual EU members â€œinevitably have an impact on overall EU-China relations.â€
â€œWe regret the Chinese action, and are following developments closely,â€ Massrali said in a statement.