TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lithuania’s former Supreme Council chairman, Vytautas Landsbergis, on Thursday (Nov. 18) visited the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania after it officially opened that day.
The 89-year-old is the grandfather of the current Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, CNA reported.
Chairman of the Lithuanian Parliament’s (Seimas) Committee on Foreign Affairs Zygimantas Pavilionis and Chairman of the Seimas’ Taiwan Friendship Group Matas Maldeikis also paid a visit to the office.
Pavilionis said that the new office represents a victory for a free and democratic world. "We can finally talk about freedom freely and call things right or wrong," per CNA.
He added that other European countries may also follow Lithuania’s footsteps by renaming their respective Taiwanese representative offices. He said that he had spoken with Pavel Fischer, Chairman of the Czech Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, who hoped that under the new Czech government, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Prague will also be renamed to include "Taiwan."
Meanwhile, Maldeikis said that Lithuanians who grew up seeing the country trying to separate from the Soviet Union and regain its independence, now hold important positions in the government. They witnessed how Lithuania became a victim of geopolitical competition and have previously been advised by Western countries to abide by pragmatic principles by not talking about independence and refraining from provoking Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he said.
Maldeikis pointed out that strengthening relations with Taiwan also has practical economic considerations, as it is currently the 15th largest trading partner of the EU. Therefore, many European countries are actively trying to attract more Taiwanese businesses.
The Taiwan Friendship Group chairman said that Lithuania has also followed suit and is "on the right path."
Eric Huang (黃鈞耀), the current Taiwanese representative to Latvia, will serve as the first envoy to Lithuania. Lithuania will open its representative office in Taiwan in early 2022, according to Lithuanian Minister of Economy and Innovation Ausrine Armonaite.