China views self-ruled and democratically ruled Taiwan as its personal territory with no proper to the trimmings of a state, and has stepped up strain on nations to downgrade or sever their relations with the island, even non-official ones.

Beijing had already expressed anger that Lithuania — which has formal relations with China and never Taiwan — let Taiwan open its workplace within the nation, and recalled its ambassador in August.

The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania opened on Thursday. Other Taiwan places of work in Europe and the United States use the identify of town Taipei, avoiding a reference to the island itself, one thing that has additional angered Beijing.

China’s Foreign Ministry mentioned in a brusque assertion that Lithuania ignored China’s “solemn stance” and the essential norms of worldwide relations in permitting Taiwan to arrange its consultant workplace in Lithuania.

Lithuania says throw away Chinese phones due to censorship concerns

The transfer “undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs,” making a “bad precedent internationally,” it mentioned, including relations can be downgraded to the extent of cost d’affaires, a rung beneath ambassador.

“We urge the Lithuanian side to correct its mistakes immediately and not to underestimate the Chinese people’s firm determination and staunch resolve to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

No matter what Taiwan does, it can’t change the truth that it’s a part of China, the ministry added.

Taiwan says it’s an impartial nation known as the Republic of China, its official identify, and that the People’s Republic of China has by no means dominated it and has no proper to talk for it.

Taiwan has been heartened by rising worldwide assist for it within the face of China’s army and diplomatic strain, particularly from the United States and a few of its allies.

Washington has supplied Vilnius assist to face up to Chinese strain, and Lithuania will signal a $600 million export credit score settlement with the U.S. Export-Import Bank this week.

Only 15 nations have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Taipei might lose one other ally to Beijing after the Honduran presidential election later this month, the place a candidate backed by primary opposition events is main in opinion polls.

If elected, Xiomara Castro has vowed to determine official relations with China.