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Vilnius protests diplomats scuffled pro-Hong Kong supporters

September 2, 2019

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuania has protested to China’s ambassador to the Baltic country, Shen Zhifei, after several Chinese diplomats were filmed scuffling with pro-Hong Kong protesters during a peaceful rally in central Vilnius last month.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said Monday that “some diplomats have crossed certain lines,” and expressed hope that “these incidents would not happen again.”

The diplomats were among pro-Beijing demonstrators who scuffled briefly with protesters rallying in support of Hong Kong activists on Aug. 23 as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia celebrated the 30th anniversary of the 1989 “Baltic Way,” an anti-Soviet protest where people formed a human chain of more than 600 kilometers (370 miles). Police fined two Chinese citizens for violation of the public order.

Linkevicius told journalists the incident would not harm relations with Beijing.

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