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Lithuania foreign minister says no plans to change Taiwan de-facto embassy name

Reuters claimed Lithuania was discussing name change for Taiwan's representative office

Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania plaque. (Facebook, Zygimantas Pavilionis photo)

Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania plaque. (Facebook, Zygimantas Pavilionis photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis refuted a Reuters report claiming that the Baltic nation was considering changing the Chinese name of Taiwan’s representative office following backlash from China.

Reuters cited two sources familiar with the matter as saying that Lithuanian officials are deliberating whether to ask Taiwan to alter the Chinese translation of its representative office in Vilnius, the capital city.

Landsbergis said on Wednesday (Jan. 26) that there is no intention or plan to change the name of the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania. He said he recently met with President Gitanas Nauseda to discuss foreign policy, how to effectively handle domestic trade challenges stemming from Chinese economic coercion, and how to build EU consensus and support in countering China, CNA reported.

The meeting did not include any talk of a name change.

Additionally, three people within Lithuania’s diplomatic circle also dismissed the Reuters report as untrue. One of them pointed out that the possibility of adding the word "people" to the Chinese name of the representative office had been discussed internally in the past, but this idea was scrapped, as it was considered to cross the Lithuanian government’s bottom line.

Taiwan representative to Lithuania, Eric Huang (黃鈞耀), said he had not received any inquiries or requests from Lithuania to change the office’s name. He emphasized that the name was decided based on a consensus between the two countries, per CNA.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has not received a request from the Lithuanian government to change the Chinese or English name of the representative office.

China’s state-run mouthpiece Global Times published an article on Jan. 22 saying that "it will take much more than just renaming the office" for Lithuania-China ties to return to normalcy.

Updated : 2022-05-20 12:22 GMT+08:00