China State Media Warns of 'Resorting to Military Means' Over Taiwan After Lithuania Tiff

China's state-run media warned that the country may resort to "military means" to address future Taiwan issues after Lithuania moved to strengthen its relations with the island nation this week.

In an editorial published Sunday in the Global Times, China condemned Lithuania for opening a representative office for Taiwan on Thursday, and warned that it would take swift actions if other nations do the same.

China views self-ruled Taiwan as its own territory under a 'One China ' policy and has continuously stepped up pressure for other countries to sever any relations that could threaten its claim.

"If the island's collusion with external forces gets out of control and it greatly adds costs for the Chinese mainland to maintain the one-China principle, then we will naturally make major adjustments to our policy toward the Taiwan Straits, including resorting to military means to resolve the Taiwan question at once," the Global Times cautioned.

"In an era in which the mainland's strength is seeing rapid growth, there is no room for Taiwan island to achieve a 'diplomatic victory.' Nor will there be an opportunity for trivial forces like Lithuania to lead the Western world to shake the one-China principle," the editorial added.

China also announced Sunday that it will downgrade its diplomatic ties with Lithuania over the issue. The country's foreign ministry argued that the Baltic state "grossly interfered in China's internal affairs" by opening the Taiwanese Representative Office on Thursday.

"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," the ministry warned earlier this week.

In response, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte expressed regret over China's decision. However, Simonyte maintained that the opening of the office was not in disagreement with China's claim over the island.

"Our government's program says Lithuania wants a more intense economic, cultural and scientific relationship with Taiwan," she said, per Reuters. "I want to emphasize that this step does not mean any conflict or disagreement with the 'One China' policy."

The European Commission also said Sunday that it does not regard the opening of the de facto embassy as a breach of China's policy.

"We have made clear in contacts with China and in public statements that this is predominantly a bilateral matter between China and Lithuania, but also since the summer, the EU has stood by Lithuania in the face of sustained coercive measures from China," a spokesperson for the EU's executive Commission said, Yahoo reported.

China / Lithuania / Taiwan spat
China's state-run media warned that the country may resort to "military means" to address future Taiwan issues after Lithuania moved to strengthen its relations with the island nation this week. Here, a plaque shows the name of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, Vilnius on November 18. PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

In September, Chinese media issued a similar warning toward the U.S. after it was reported that President Joe Biden's administration is considering changing the name of Washington's representative office from the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office" (TECRO) to the "Taiwan Representative Office."

The Global Times said China should issue "severe" economic and military actions toward Taiwan if that were to happen.

"The name change provides the Chinese mainland with sufficient reason to strengthen our sovereign claim over the island of Taiwan," the state-run media outlet said at the time.

Meanwhile, Taiwan reported Sunday that two Chinese nuclear-capable H-6 bombers had flown to the south part of the island, in what appears to be an example of military harassment from China, per Reuters.