Lithuanian lawmakers have invited top Taiwanese officials to join other countries at a forum to mark Lithuania’s centennial diplomatic relations with the US.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesman Tsuei Ching-lin (崔靜麟) yesterday congratulated Lithuania and expressed gratitude for the invitation, adding that Taiwan, the US and Lithuania are like-minded partners that defend each other’s democracy and freedom.
Lithuania has been bolstering substantive relations with Taiwan since last year, while the US and other democratic allies worldwide condemned China’s diplomatic and economic sanctions on Lithuania, he said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Tseng (曾厚仁) and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), along with Democratic Progressive Party legislators Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) and Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀) — both of whom are touring Europe — have been invited by the Lithuanian parliament to attend the forum, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The forum, to be held on Thursday, has “freedom” as its theme, and can be attended in person or virtually.
The ministry said that Lithuania has been safeguarding freedom, democracy and human rights since it was under occupation through to its independence.
Lithuania hopes to deepen ties with the US and other countries during the forum as part of its effort to resist authoritarian regimes, Lithuanian lawmaker Zygimantas Pavilionis said.
Representatives from Belarus, Ukraine, the UK, France, the US, Canada and Taiwan are scheduled to attend the forum, indicating that many countries consider Lithuania a reliable European partner, he said.
“The world has finally heard us,” he said.
Lithuania has faced political and economic pressure from Beijing over its decision to allow the use of the word “Taiwanese” in the name of Taiwan’s representative office in the Baltic state.
The Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania was established on Nov. 18 last year, breaking a trend of using “Taipei” instead of “Taiwan” in the names of its overseas missions.
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