[New Tang Dynasty Beijing time July 21, 2021]On Tuesday (20th), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China Wu Zhaoxie officially announced that Taiwan has confirmed that it will set up a “Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania” in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Prior to this, Lithuania has revealed to the public that the country will open an office in Taiwan this fall. Scholars pointed out that the two sides will enhance cooperation in many aspects. In response, the U.S. government expressed its support, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again jumped to oppose it.
Wu Zhaoxie announced the above news at a network video press conference held on Tuesday. He said that the Taiwan representative office in Lithuania will be established in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Related work is underway, and any new developments will be shared with the public in time.
This is Taiwan’s establishment of a representative office in a European country 18 years after the establishment of a representative office in Slovakia in 2003.
Wu Zhaoxie also mentioned at the press conference that Lithuania will set up an office in Taiwan in the fall. He said that various preparations are currently being actively carried out, but since the procedure involves the revision of Lithuanian domestic laws, he will explain the specific time schedule of related matters with the consent of Lithuania in the future.
Wu Zhaoxie emphasized that in the future, Taiwan and Lithuania will have many mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, industry and technology. In particular, Lithuania has always adhered to universal values such as democracy, freedom and human rights, and Taiwan is a friendly partner with similar ideas. I believe that through the close connection of shared values, the people of the two countries will work together to “play positive and good forces and contribute to world peace, stability and prosperity.”
Yang Sanyi, director of the Institute of International Politics at Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that after Taiwan and Lithuania establish each other’s representative offices, the two sides will first strengthen cooperation in economics, trade, education, and culture. You can refer to Taiwan and other China and Europe. The experience with Eastern European countries is carried out through exchange of students and other programs.
He said: “If we have a permanent representative office in Lithuania, I believe that after understanding the local economic needs, Taiwan can identify the economic and trade strengths of the two countries. Then I think it would be great to complement each other. .”
The Voice of America reported that Lithuania established diplomatic relations with mainland China in 1991. Therefore, Taiwan’s newly established representative office in Lithuania “will be Taiwan’s first representative office under the name of Taiwan in China’s diplomatic relations”. Analysts believe that this move has the symbolic significance of a diplomatic breakthrough.
At the same time that the Taiwan authorities officially announced the above decision, the American Association in Taiwan (AIT) simultaneously issued a statement affirming this.
The AIT statement stated that Taiwan is an advanced democracy, a major economy, and a good force in the world. “All countries should enjoy the freedom to forge closer relations and expand cooperation with Taiwan.”
Lithuania has taken a number of actions against the CCP in recent years and is regarded as a leader in countering the CCP regime in Europe. For example, in May of this year, Lithuania first announced its withdrawal from the “17+1” cooperation mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European countries, and called on other EU countries to also withdraw; the Lithuanian Parliament recently passed a resolution condemning the CCP’s crimes against Uyghur Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Under “crimes against humanity” and “genocide”.
Now, Lithuania wants to set up a representative office with Taiwan. This decision once again stimulates the sensitive nerves of the CCP.
On Tuesday, the spokesperson of the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, issued a statement at a regular press conference, stating that “China firmly opposes any form of official exchanges between countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and opposes the establishment of so-called’representative offices’ between countries with diplomatic relations with Taiwan.”
Then, Zhao Lijian used the consistent tone of asking other countries to “adhere to the one-China principle” and threatened the Taiwan government “Taiwan independence is a dead end.”
However, the Voice of America quoted an unnamed Taiwanese scholar as saying that Lithuania originally had few economic and trade contacts with China, so it is not afraid of any economic sanctions imposed by the CCP. Lithuania only needs to find other channels to open up sources. Lithuania is now playing the Taiwan card with the United States. On the one hand, Lithuania’s ideology does have an obvious confrontation with the CCP. On the other hand, the country can also obtain greater benefits from Taiwan or the United States.
(Reporter He Yating Comprehensive Report / Chief Editor: Lin Qing)
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