Lithuania to open trade office in Taiwan
Lithuania has further downgraded its ties with Beijing as its plans to open a trade office in Taipei.
Lithuania's trade representative office in Taipei will open soon after all the necessary documents for its accreditation are submitted, the director-general of the Taiwanese foreign ministry's office for Europe, Remus Chen, said on Tuesday.
Lithuania's first representative to Taiwan, Paulius Lukauskas, arrived on the island earlier this month and launched the diplomatic accreditation process on Monday, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) reported, citing Chen. The Lithuanian side has already rented a space for its trade representative office, and the necessary equipment is now being installed there, Chen said, adding that the office will open as soon as the installation process is over. He did not say when exactly the ceremony will take place.
Chen noted that since the opening of Taiwan's representative office in Lithuania last November, bilateral relations are getting increasingly closer, the report said.
However, relations between Lithuania and China have worsened and Beijing downgraded its official ties with Lithuania to the level of charge d'affaires. China considers the island its sovereign territory and always opposes any direct foreign official contacts with Taipei.
On January 4, Lithuania's President, Gitanas Nauseda, said that his country's decision to open a representative office for Taiwan, using the name of the country, was a mistake.
The name of the office, the President said, was a key factor that damaged Lithuania's relations with China. "I believe the name was the spark, and now we have to deal with the consequences," he declared.
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In recent years, Lithuania has become more vocal about aligning itself with the US foreign policy in the region and joining in the strategy of containment of China and of attitudes against Chinese sovereignty in Taiwan.
Lithuania and China had a close and mutually beneficial trade relationship, but from 2021 onward, the latter adopted a more radical stance against China and decided to leave the “17 + 1” group, a group of countries in Eastern Europe and China with ties to Chinese trade, with serious consequences for its economy.
At 101 years old, the KMT (Kuomintang, or the Chinese Nationalist Party) is one of the oldest functioning parties in the world.
Taiwan remained alienated from Beijing after becoming a stronghold of the Kuomintang that suffered defeat by the Communist Party in a civil war in 1949. The Chinese mainland and the island resumed business and informal contact in the late 1980s.
Most countries officially recognize only Beijing, but maintain informal relations with Taipei. Beijing opposes any official contact of foreign countries with Taiwan and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.
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