Source Global Times

BEIJING, China--From a warning to a solemn condemnation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry is getting tougher in latest remarks on Lithuania's reckless move on the Taiwan question. The ministry vowed to let the Baltic country "pay a price for its mistakes" on Wednesday, while Chinese observers denounced several politicians there for kidnapping the interests of more than 2 million Lithuanians.

Bilateral trade and investment will bear the brunt after China decided on Sunday to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of chargé d'affaires, which means the exchange mechanism and cooperation between the two countries will be suspended, Chinese observers said.

The most critical and effective deterrence against Lithuania could be China's influence at diplomatic and multilateral occasions, as Lithuania will find it hard to gain support from China in global engagement, they noted.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said on Wednesday that a price must be paid for its mistakes. The response came after a question on whether China will take punitive measures targeting economic cooperation and trade with the Baltic nation.

Lithuania recklessly "creates the false impression of 'one China, one Taiwan' in the world," setting a very bad precedent for other countries, Zhao noted.

China has repeatedly reiterated that it will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and protect its core interests, Zhao said.

Lithuania is seeking the support of the US and the European Union (EU) to cushion the impact of downgraded China-Lithuania ties, said Wang Yiwei, director of the institute of international affairs at the Renmin University of China. Wang believes that China's sanctions and countermeasures have been effective, and the Baltic nation has felt the pain.

The absence of an ambassador means that the exchange mechanism and cooperation between the two countries has been suspended, with trade and investment bearing the brunt, Wang told the Global Times on Wednesday, noting that Lithuania will also struggle to gain Chinese support in global engagement and other multilateral occasions.

In the UN, the G20 and other important multilateral platforms, Lithuania will find it very difficult to get China's support for its interests and demands, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies, China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.

Liu Zuokui, a research fellow on European studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), believes that the countermeasures in the domains of trade, investment, and diplomacy will serve as a wake-up call for Lithuanian politicians, especially the current ruling party, and will make them realize that they cannot achieve the desired effect through their anti-China policy, nor could they solve Lithuania's domestic social contradictions and disputes with its neighbors.

Some politicians of the Baltic country will apparently ruin themselves by colluding with a Hong Kong secessionist in a latest provocative move.

Notorious Hong Kong secessionist leader Nathan Law Kwun Chung tweeted on Monday that he met with some Lithuanian politicians including Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, expressing his gratitude for their support of "Taiwan, Hong Kong and global democracy."

With US support, the Baltic country can only make noise at the moment. But Lithuanian politicians should realize that they are kidnapping the nation's long-term interests and the interests of more than 2 million citizens just to serve their short-term political gain, observers said. This is "anarchy" - a signal of chaos or societal collapse, they warned.