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Lithuania urges democracies to join its stand for Taiwan amid Chinese economic pressure

Baltic nation's foreign minister to visit Japan next month

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Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis speaks to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in September in Washington. 

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis speaks to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in September in Washington.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has called for increased coordination among democratic nations on dealing with China as the Baltic nation faces continued economic pressure from Beijing after recently strengthening ties with Taipei.

Landsbergis recently said Beijing "is not basing arguments on international law, just on power," according to a Kyodo News report. "This is a world based on power where one country with more power, more economic leverage can press any other actor in the international arena,” he went on.

"This is the problem of authoritarian countries. We don't consider this a normal way of interactions between countries," he added.

Landsbergis will visit Japan next month to discuss China policy, the Indo-Pacific, and other international affairs with Japanese officials, per Kyodo News.

In July, Lithuania announced plans to allow Taiwan to open a trade office in its capital Vilnius under the name “Taiwan,” which angered Beijing. The office is due to open early next year.

Beijing responded by imposing unofficial sanctions that it has justified with spurious accusations of substandard pest management in Lithuania’s agricultural and timber industries.

Landsbergis said the recent economic punishment is a test for his country. He said democratic states should assist one another to make Beijing understand its current coercive approach will not work — at least not in the democratic world.

Reflecting on Lithuania's standing up to China this year, he said the U.S. has been “in direct support of our foreign policy decisions" and that "that was very important for us."

"I would really encourage closer economic ties with Taiwan," Landsbergis concluded.


Updated : 2021-12-03 17:23 GMT+08:00