Taiwan will work with Lithuania and other like-minded partners to protect shared values, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday, after the Baltic country’s new political coalition said it would defend “those fighting for freedom” from “Belarus to Taiwan.”
The Lithuanian coalition agreement, signed by leaders of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD), Liberal Movement and Freedom Party, which together won 74 seats in the 141-seat parliament on Oct. 25, binds the new government to carry out a “values-based foreign policy.”
The three parties are all led by women, Ingrida Simonyte for the TS-LKD, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen for the Liberal Movement and Ausrine Armonaite for the Freedom Party, according to the Atlantic Council’s Web site.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
“We will actively oppose any violation of human rights and democratic freedoms, and will defend those fighting for freedom around the world, from Belarus to Taiwan,” they said.
“The phrases ‘values-based foreign policy’ & ‘defend those fighting for freedom’ roar like thunder,” Wu wrote on the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Twitter account.
“#Taiwan will work with #Lithuania & other like-minded partners to protect our cherished shared values. We’re David fighting Goliath, & we’ll prevail,” he said.
The newly elected Lithuanian lawmakers are scheduled to assume their posts later this month, the ministry said in a news release.
Lithuania has voiced support for Taiwan’s bid to join the WHO, it added.
Sixty Lithuanian lawmakers last month wrote a joint letter voicing their support for Taiwan to join this week’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decisionmaking body, while Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius in May also publicly voiced support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO, it said.
In other diplomatic news, Saudi Arabia’s new representative to Taiwan, Adel Althaidi, arrived in Taiwan on Oct. 28 and would assume his post after his quarantine period ends, Department of West Asian and African Affairs Deputy Director-General Lee Ya-ping (李雅萍) told a news briefing yesterday.
Althaidi was first secretary at Saudi Arabia’s mission to the UN in New York and served as a section chief on multilateral relations at the kingdom’s embassy in Brussels, she said.
Before leaving for Taiwan, he met with Representative to Saudi Arabia Teng Sheng-ping (鄧盛平) and exchanged opinions about collaborations on trade, culture, education, healthcare, technology and other areas, she said.
Former Saudi Arabian representative to Taiwan Rafat Al Sayed left Taipei in May.
Meanwhile, a new technical mission in Somaliland would be inaugurated later this month, after the nation’s representative office in Hargeisa opened on Aug. 17, Lee said.
The mission would formally launch three bilateral cooperation projects in the fields of agriculture, information and communications technology, and public healthcare next year, she added.
It is preparing projects to improve local vegetable and fruit production, government digitalization and healthcare for pregnant women and infants, she said.
Additional reporting by Reuters
BUSY DAY: The same day the USS ‘Barry’ passed through the Strait, Taiwan was ending its Han Kuang military exercises, while China said it conducted an exercise near Taiwan A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January. The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.” “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.” The Ministry
FRUIT SPAT: The COA said China had not given evidence for halting wax and custard apple imports, adding that it would spend NT$1bn on promoting sales of the fruit Taipei threatened to take China to the WTO yesterday after Beijing said it would suspend wax apple and custard apple imports from Taiwan due to pest concerns. China’s customs administration earlier yesterday said it had repeatedly found pests called Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug, on wax and custard apples from Taiwan. It asked its Guangdong branch and all affiliated offices to stop clearing the products from today. China had acted unilaterally, without providing scientific evidence, Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) told a news conference, criticizing the announcement’s timing, as it came during the Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated in Taiwan
ON ALERT: A woman who tested positive for COVID-19 while abroad last year tested negative twice in Taiwan before showing a positive result on Sunday, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported two locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, four imported cases and no deaths. The CECC meanwhile warned nearly 500 people to monitor their health after a woman tested postive. The center also reported that a previous local case — a female worker at Taoyuan International Airport Services (桃園航勤), who had the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 — likely contracted the disease from the same source as a previous imported case from Turkey. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that the two local cases were reported in Taipei, and are a
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the