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14 EU, US foreign affairs leaders back Lithuania against Chinese bullying

Joint statement rejects China's aggressive behavior, supports Lithuania's 'sovereign decisions'

Flag of Lithuania. (Getty Images photo)

Flag of Lithuania. (Getty Images photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A group of pro-Taiwan legislators in Europe and the U.S. have issued a statement censuring China over its actions to pressure Lithuania for developing ties with Taiwan.

In the statement, 13 chairs of foreign affairs committees from 11 European countries and Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez said they "strongly condemn the political, diplomatic and economic pressure" of China on Lithuania. This followed the Baltic state's decision to establish an office in Taipei.

Two days ago, the Formosa Club sent messages to the EU and NATO backing Lithuania's right to develop ties with Taiwan and to establish a trade office in its capital city. This is something that 15 other European nations have already done.

Friday's statement mirrors the Formosa Club statement, rejecting China's aggressive behavior and supporting Lithuania's "sovereign decisions taken by other states to withdraw from the 17+1 format," a China-led trade and investment initiative in central and eastern European countries.

In 2019, the majority of Lithuanian parliamentarians expressed their formal support for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA). The elected new government of pro-democracy leaders has begun to change its China policy after assuming office in November 2020 to align with their values that underpin democracy and human rights.

Updated : 2021-09-27 02:21 GMT+08:00