Washington supports its European partners and allies as they develop mutually beneficial relations with Taiwan, the US Department of State said on Tuesday, adding that each country should be able to interpret its own “one China” policy.
US Department of State spokesman Ned Price made the remarks at a news conference when asked to comment on China demanding Lithuania to withdraw its ambassador from Beijing earlier that day.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 20 announced its plan to establish a representative office in Lithuania — the first office in Europe to have “Taiwanese” in its name.
Photo courtesy of the US Department of State’s Asia Pacific Media Hub
Lithuania plans to open a representative office in Taiwan by this fall, although the two nations do not have formal diplomatic ties.
“Well, we do stand in solidarity with our NATO ally Lithuania and we condemn the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] recent retaliatory actions, including the recall of Beijing’s ambassador from Vilnius and demanding Lithuania recall its ambassador from Beijing,” Price said.
“Taiwan is a global leader in public health and advanced manufacturing and democratic governance, to name just a few areas in which the international community — including the United States — benefits from engagement with Taiwan,” he added.
“Each country should be able to determine the contours of its own ‘one China’ policy without outside coercion. We have done just that,” he said.
Asked what actions the US expects Japan to take to keep stability across the Taiwan Strait — after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Japanese National Security Adviser Akiba Takeo met in Washington on Monday — Price reiterated the US’ support for a peaceful resolution of cross-strait relations.
“We have urged Beijing ... to cease its military, its diplomatic, its economic pressure against Taiwan and to engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan,” Price said.
In Taipei, the foreign ministry said it welcomed Washington’s comments.
The ministry thanked US President Joe Biden’s administration for continuously supporting Taiwan, and backing Taiwan and Lithuania in establishing representative offices in each other’s countries, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement yesterday.
Taiwan would continue to develop practical and mutually beneficial relations with all like-minded countries, without flinching under outside coercion, she added.
On Tuesday, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed regret over Beijing’s move to recall its ambassador, but said that the country is determined to pursue mutually beneficial ties with Taiwan, like many other countries in the EU and around the world.
If Lithuania does not cease its engagements with Taiwan, it is not impossible that China and Lithuania might sever relations, Liu Zuokui (劉作奎), director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Department of Central and Eastern European Studies, told the Chinese-language Global Times on Tuesday.
Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for the European External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic body, told the Central News Agency that while the ambassador recall was a bilateral matter between China and Lithuania, developments in Beijing’s ties with individual EU members “inevitably have an impact on overall EU-China relations.”
“We regret the Chinese action, and are following developments closely,” Massrali said in a statement.
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