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Taiwan condemns Beijing's decision to cancel rail freight to Lithuania

Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on like-minded partners to support Lithuania in face of Chinese pressure

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MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou. (MOFA photo)

MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou. (MOFA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Thursday (Aug. 19) that it vehemently opposes China’s use of “normal economic and trade exchanges” following Lithuania's approval of a Taiwan representative office in its capital city of Vilnius.

The Baltic News Agency (BNS) on Aug. 17 reported that the state-owned China State Railway Group Company had canceled freight shipments bound for Lithuania that were originally scheduled to depart at the end of August, according to Liberty Times. However, China Railway denied it had done so.

MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said that the ministry has verified the incident with various parties and confirmed the reports to be true. She added that Taiwan rejects Beijing’s use of trade to threaten the survival and well-being of Lithuanians and calls on the global community to “respect the spirit of free trade” and adhere to the rule-based international trade system “to maintain economic stability and prosperity and safeguard global citizens’ basic rights,” Liberty Times quoted her as saying.

Ou said that Taiwan is willing to cooperate with like-minded countries, including Lithuania, on the basis of “promoting economic and trade exchanges and investment links.” She called on democratic partners to support the Baltic country and show solidarity and mutual assistance while upholding the shared values of democracy and freedom.

The spokesperson added that Taiwan will continue to strengthen its partnership with Lithuania.