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US Urges Lithuania to Rename Taiwan Representative Office to Ease Row With China, Reports Say

© AP Photo / Andy WongFILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo, a Chinese national flag flutters against the office buildings in Shanghai, China
FILE - In this April 14, 2016 file photo, a Chinese national flag flutters against the office buildings in Shanghai, China - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.01.2022
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has urged Lithuania to change the name of the Taiwanese official representative office in its capital, Vilnius, to narrow differences with China, the Financial Times reported on Friday, citing sources.
In 2021, relations between Lithuania and China deteriorated considerably after the official representative office of Taiwan was opened in Vilnius. China recalled its ambassador from Vilnius, thus lowering the level of diplomatic relations between the countries to that of chargé d'affaires.
According to the newspaper's sources, US officials advised Lithuania to change the "Taiwanese representative office" to the "Taipei representative office," a name that is used in the majority of countries.

"One of the big problems is that Taiwan doesn't want the name change and Lithuania has a very strong faction of people who don't want the name changed either", a person familiar with the diplomatic discussions told the media.

However, the White House officially denied the information about the proposal to rename the office.

"Anyone who suggests otherwise is not reflecting actual discussions between the US and Lithuania. We respect and support Lithuania and Taiwan's efforts to enhance their ties and practical cooperation", a spokesperson for the National Security Council told the media.

The source added that Washington had assured Lithuania that it would support its sovereign decisions.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stressed that the information about the US proposal to rename the Taiwanese office was a "disinformation campaign."
Taipei City - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.01.2022
Taipei City
The United States has repeatedly expressed concern over reports that the Chinese authorities do not allow Lithuanian goods or goods with Lithuanian components into the country and reject applications for imports from Vilnius.
Taiwan has been governed independently from mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own democratically-elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence.
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