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Taiwan identifies China as source of challenges Lithuania faces

Taiwan foreign ministry calls on global democracies to counter China's bullying of Baltic nation

MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou. (Taiwan News photo)

MOFA Spokeswoman Joanne Ou. (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) pointed to Beijing’s political and economic coercion as the source of challenges Lithuania is facing, on Thursday (Jan. 6), while responding to comments made by the Baltic nation’s President Gitanas Nauseda.

In an interview with the Lithuanian radio station Ziniu Radijas, Nauseda on Tuesday said “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,” Nauseda added.

Ou said that China is violating international trade rules by boycotting Lithuanian goods, which affects the normal operations of global trade and is a clear attempt at weakening the solidarity of world democracies. She emphasized the blame for Lithuania’s current challenges should be placed solely on China, which she referred to as “a bully who exerts undue pressure,” per Liberty Times.

The spokesperson reiterated that Taiwan is ready to deepen economic and trade ties with Lithuania.

The two nations not only share the values of freedom and democracy but are also mutually beneficial and co-prosperous business partners, Ou said. “Both sides continue to improve economic and trade ties and substantial relations as strong as steel.”

Ou said that many bilateral exchanges are being promoted, adding that Taiwan looks forward to working with Lithuania to build “a strong democratic supply chain.” The two countries would also defend freedom and democracy and enhance the resilience and unity of the global democratic community.

The spokesperson added that Taiwan calls on global democracies and like-minded partners to support Lithuania and not give in to external persecution, in order to ensure the Baltic country’s dignity and diplomatic decisions are fully respected.