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US deputy secretary of state talks to Lithuania, pledges support for Taiwan

Wendy Sherman's phone call comes just one day after she met China’s new ambassador to US

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Friday (Aug. 13) to reiterate Washington’s support for Lithuania as the country faces a backlash from China for deepening ties with Taiwan, according to a NowNews report.

Lithuania was in the international spotlight this week after China on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to the country as a rebuke for allowing Taipei to set up a representative office under the name of "Taiwan" in the capital Vilnius. China also requested Lithuania withdraw its ambassador from Beijing.

Shortly afterward, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price condemned Beijing’s retaliatory actions and affirmed U.S. support for Lithuania. Sherman also stressed that Washington stands in solidarity with Taiwan on this matter and that it supports the positive development of relations between the democratic countries.

In addition to discussing bilateral ties, Sherman and Landsbergis in their call emphasized that transatlantic cooperation should be strengthened, including on China issues, according to Price. The two also expressed their commitment to promoting peace, prosperity, security, democracy, and human rights in the transatlantic region and around the world.

Sherman and Landsbergis also discussed the political situation in Belarus, with Sherman reaffirming U.S. support for the Belarusian pro-democracy movement and calling on President Alexander Lukashenko to stop orchestrating sporadic migrant flows across its borders.

Some have speculated about the significance of the timing of the phone call, as Sherman had just spoken with Qin Gang (秦剛), the new Chinese ambassador to the United States, a day before contacting the Lithuanian side.