With Lithuania recalling its last diplomats from China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday urged the public and businesses to support Lithuanian products, and listed ways to boost bilateral economic ties.
“Lithuania’s Charge d’ Affaires ad interim in China Audra Ciapiene returns to Vilnius for consultations,” the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.
“In the absence of a substitute diplomat in Beijing, the Lithuanian Embassy to China will continue its operations remotely,” it added.
“Lithuania is ready to continue the dialogue with China and restore the functions of the embassy to their full extent once a mutually beneficial agreement has been reached,” the statement said.
In Taipei, the foreign ministry yesterday expressed its “highest respect” to the Lithuanian government and its diplomatic policymakers.
Taiwan will continue to stand with Vilnius, while engaging the forces and resources of international democratic partners to demonstrate the solidarity and resilience of the global democratic alliance, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing in Taipei.
The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania opened in Vilnius on Nov. 18, despite the lack of formal relations.
Lithuania’s representative office in Taiwan is expected to open next year, Ou said, citing Lithuanian Minister of the Economy and Innovation Ausrine Armonaite as saying in October.
Ou called on domestic businesses and all Taiwanese to extend their full support to Lithuania for the two sides to develop closer and mutually beneficial ties.
Asked how it would bolster economic ties with Vilnius, Ou reiterated the government’s resolve to boost cooperation on trade, investment and industry, as well as strengthening supply chain security.
To help Lithuania shift its market focus, the government on Sept. 15 held an online business matchmaking meeting, she said.
The government also sent a 66-strong trade delegation to visit Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic from Oct. 20 to 30.
The Taiwanese delegation cohosted more than 280 business-to-business meetings in Lithuania, and the two sides signed six memorandums of understanding to promote cooperation in semiconductor curricula, semiconductor development, crystal research, space and satellite technology, biomedicine and financing, Ou said.
Lithuania is also participating in Food Taipei, which is to take place at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Hall from Wednesday to Saturday next week, Ou said.
Taiwan welcomes Enterprise Lithuania’s announcement that starting next year, it would be working with e-commerce company PChome Online Inc (網路家庭), Ou added.
Taiwan and Lithuania are also stepping up bilateral exchanges in the laser industry, smart vehicles, smart cities and other areas, she said.
At the news briefing, Ou also thanked the US Congress for its continual support for Taiwan’s security, after the US Senate on Wednesday passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which is now awaiting US President Joe Biden’s signature.
The bill reiterates the US’ commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and “six assurances.” It also expresses support for Taiwan to maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities and US soldiers to work with Taiwan, as well as inviting Taiwan to join next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise.
The government will continue to work closely with the US and fulfill its responsibility to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the Indo-Pacific region, Ou said.
Separately, the Ministry of National Defense thanked the US Congress for promoting Taiwan-friendly legislation, ministry spokesman Major General Shih Shun-wen (史順文) said.
Officials are observing developments to make relevant policy preparations, he added.
Additional reporting by Wu Su-wei
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