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Lithuanian president regrets Taiwanese Representative Office name

President Gitanas Nauseda says allowing office to be named Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania was 'mistake'

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. (Facebook, Gitanas Nauseda photo)

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. (Facebook, Gitanas Nauseda photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said it was a mistake to allow Taiwan to open a representative office that included the word "Taiwanese."

In an interview with Lithuanian radio station Ziniu Radijas, Nauseda on Tuesday (Jan. 4) said that “the name of the office has become the key factor that now affects relations with China,” Bloomberg reported.

“I would think that — not the opening of the Taiwanese office — but the name of it was the mistake, something with which I wasn’t consulted,” he said.

Since Taiwan established the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania in the capital of Vilnius, China has downgraded relations with the Baltic country by reportedly blocking its exports and recalling its ambassador in December.

Meanwhile, Lithuania has withdrawn all its diplomats in Beijing the same month after the Chinese Foreign Ministry ordered them to return their diplomatic identification cards.

On Tuesday, the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists, the country’s largest business association, said it is seeking help from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to persuade China to resume normal trade and halt its economic coercion, per Bloomberg.

In response to declining Lithuania-China relations, Taiwan has jumped at the opportunity to expand its own ties with the Baltic nation. The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTL) recently purchased 20,000 bottles of Lithuanian rum to save it from potentially being blocked by Chinese customs.

The rum, manufactured by MV Group and sold under the brand Propeller, is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Jan. 9. It will be available at spirits distributors across the country, TTL Vice President Liao Chih-chien said (廖志堅).