Taiwan lawmakers look to boost ties with Baltic nations

Legislative speaker should visit Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia: Friendship association

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Legislators set up a friendship association with the Baltic countries Wednesday (Sept. 9).

Legislators set up a friendship association with the Baltic countries Wednesday (Sept. 9). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the high-profile visit of the Czech Senate president, legislators want to improve ties with the three Baltic nations, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, reports said Wednesday (Sept. 9).

The speaker of the Czech Senate, Miloš Vystrčil, visited Taiwan at the head of a 90-member delegation Aug. 30 to Sept. 4. Partly due to threats of retaliation from China, the trip attracted worldwide attention.

Looking toward other former communist-ruled countries, lawmakers on Wednesday founded a friendship association with the Baltic states and expressed the hope that Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) might lead a delegation to visit the three European countries.

The association’s driving force, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), said legislative diplomacy was more flexible and would face fewer obstacles in the way of expanding relations than official diplomacy would.

Having You address the parliaments of the three nations should be one of the long-term aims of the new group, CNA quoted him as saying. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) emphasized that over the past three decades of independence, the Baltic countries had already established basic contacts with Taiwan, but there was still a lot of room to intensify mutual ties.