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Anger in the European Union over the statements of the Chinese ambassador in Paris

China has retracted this Monday the controversial statements that the ambassador of the Asian country, Lu Shaye, made in an interview on Saturday in Paris in which he questioned the sovereignty of the Soviet Union. The Government of Beijing has affirmed this Monday that it “respects” the independence of the countries that emerged after the collapse of the USSR. The spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mao Ning, at a press conference said that she maintains “friendly” relations with all these nations, according to the Bloomberg agency.

The controversy has been unleashed since the words of the Chinese ambassador, Lu Shaye, who assured this weekend that the former Soviet republics do not have “effective status” as countries, were made public. To which the foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) have reacted angrily. The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the EU, Josep Borrell, has pointed out that Shaye’s statements are “unacceptable” and that the Twenty-seven “can only assume that these words do not represent the official policy of Beijing.”

The bloc, which is in the middle of a debate to “recalibrate” its relationship with the Asian giant, will address this issue at the Foreign Council this Monday in Luxembourg. For their part, the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) have summoned the Chinese ambassadors from their capitals to ask them for explanations about the statements made by their counterpart in Paris. At his entrance to the Foreign Affairs meeting, the Lithuanian minister, Gabrielus Landsbergis, confirmed that these contacts have begun to create a common front in the face of “completely unacceptable” words.

The Baltics want to know “if China’s position on independence has changed.” Shaye’s words do nothing but replicate the Russian narrative about Ukraine, which the Kremlin considers part of its territory and not an independent and sovereign country. “Questioning these two concepts is a dangerous thing these days,” Landsbergis stressed. Italy has also criticized these statements. Its Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, stressed that “it is important that China respect the EU and its Member States.” “I disagree with the message of the ambassador in France,” he has settled.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Paris has turned the page and has removed the transcript of the interview from its website without giving further details.

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