France's Foreign Ministry has summoned the Chinese ambassador over alleged insults and threats directed at French lawmakers and a researcher.
The ministry said in a statement on Monday that the move was in response to the Chinese Embassy's "unacceptable" comments.
The controversy began when Ambassador Lu Shaye criticized a group of French senators who are planning to visit Taiwan in the summer.
Lu wrote a letter last month saying the trip would clearly violate the "One China" principle and send a false signal to pro-independence forces in Taiwan.
When a French researcher criticized the letter on Twitter, the Chinese Embassy accused him of being a "small-time thug" in a tweet.
The French Foreign Ministry said in its statement that the Embassy's insults and attempts to intimidate elected officials and researchers were not acceptable.
This is not the first time Ambassador Lu has come under fire in France. He was also summoned to the ministry last April, when he criticized European nations' handling of the coronavirus pandemic.