Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry on Friday (July 2) welcomed Lithuania’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ou Jiang’an said that Taiwan “has always maintained an open and pragmatic attitude in foreign affairs, maintaining interaction with partners of similar ideas around the world and seeking opportunities to strengthen substantive cooperation relations”.
Ou Jiang’an also said that Taiwan highly welcomes the Lithuanian government’s intention to expand cooperation and exchange with Taiwan, including the positive action of going to Taiwan to prepare for the establishment of offices and amend the law to deepen bilateral friendly relations.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said Thursday that in addition to establishing an embassy in Australia, Lithuania also plans to set up representative offices in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
This is part of Lithuania’s latest efforts aimed at reducing economic and trade dependence on China and expanding economic and trade contacts with democratic countries and regions in Asia. In February this year, the Lithuanian Parliament approved Lithuania’s departure from the “17+1” cooperation mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European countries.
However, Lansbergs said that Lithuania is not opposed to China, but to avoid economic dependence will be politically constrained by China, affecting national security interests, and therefore plans to expand the scope of operations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Lansbergs made the comments at a meeting attended by 62 Lithuanian diplomats abroad. He said that developing foreign markets and strengthening economic and trade diplomacy, East Asia is the focus of Lithuania’s future diplomacy. He also said that Lithuania’s goal is not only to be a regional center of democracy, but also to expand the space for democracy and freedom around the world.
Lithuania recently announced the donation of 20,000 doses of AZ vaccine to Taiwan. Ou Jiang’an said that Taiwan is grateful for this and “remains positively optimistic about the close development of friendly relations.”
Beijing has expressed its opposition to Lithuania’s plan to establish a presence in Taiwan. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China, and that China firmly opposes the establishment of official institutions or any form of official contacts between its diplomatic partners, including Lithuania, and Taiwan.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Lithuania to adhere to the one-China principle and “not to be exploited by ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces and not to do anything that would undermine bilateral political mutual trust.”