Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), who is leading a delegation on a visit to Lithuania, on Friday said that the Baltic state is a role model for democracy and freedom by standing up to Chinese and Russian threats.
Speaking at a luncheon held by the Lithuania-Taiwan Forum in Vilnius, You also said that Lithuania has shown strong support for Ukraine since Russia’s Feb. 24.
Founded in March last year by more than 50 senior Lithuanian politicians and professors, the forum aims to strengthen ties with Taiwan.
You said that, like Taiwan, Lithuania enjoys and adamantly advocates for democracy and freedom, and has raised alarm over threats from neighboring authoritarian regimes.
The Baltic country in July last year allowed Taiwan to establish the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania in Vilnius, but pressure from China immediately followed, including Beijing recalling its ambassador.
Lithuania remained steadfast by allowing Taiwan to open the office on Nov. 18 last year, You said.
Taiwan typically names its overseas representative offices “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office” or “Taipei Representative Office” when a host country prefers to avoid references that might imply Taiwanese independence.
Beijing has sought to impose political costs on Lithuania for allowing “Taiwanese” in the name of the office.
You thanked Lithuania for its donation of about 260,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan last year, when Taipei experienced a shortage during a time of growing infections.
Lithuania was the third vaccine donor to Taiwan after the US and Japan, and also Taiwan’s first vaccine donor from Europe, which You said was the action of “a good friend.”
You said that Taiwan is a sovereign nation in which its people are able to elect presidents and lawmakers, allowing for democratic transitions of power.
Taipei opposes any aggression in the region, and ensuring Taiwan’s safety is in the global interest, You said, adding that Taiwan has ranked high in the world’s democracy and freedom indices and will continue to safeguard those values.
The delegation led by You arrived in Vilnius on Thursday after concluding a four-day visit to the Czech Republic.
You said on Facebook that the delegation visited the Lithuanian parliament, called the Seimas, where 124 lawmakers in the Baltic state signed a declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990.
Being in the venue of the signing of independence gave him faith that exchanges between lawmakers in Taiwan and Lithuania will increase, and ties between the countries will become warmer, You said.
The delegation met with Seimas deputy speakers Radville Morkunaite-Mikulenene and Paulilus Saudargu, along with other Lithuanian lawmakers in the foreign affairs and European affairs committees, he said.
You’s delegation includes Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Shih-chieh (黃世杰), Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿), and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉) and Wan Mei-ling (萬美玲). Wan also serves as head of the Taiwan-Czech Parliamentary Amity Association.
The delegation’s visit concluded yesterday, according to information provided by the Seimas.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
UNCREWED CRAFT: A lack of domestic components and engine outsourcing show the need for Taiwan to develop a local drone supply chain, an analyst said The development of a fully domestic drone manufacturing supply chain is crucial to Taiwan’s ability to use the uncrewed aircraft effectively during wartime, a recent report from the Institute for National Defense and Security Research said. Ukraine’s experience in resisting Russia’s invasion demonstrated that civilian drones can provide valuable intelligence during wartime, but they must be manufactured domestically to ensure that foreign component makers cannot take control of the devices, the report said. In the report, institute researcher Chen Po-hung (陳柏宏) analyzed the security of Taiwan’s drone supply chain. Ukrainians have used civilian drones to locate Russian convoys and other targets, he said,
In the last few days before the local elections on Saturday, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it is focusing on 10 regions it considers highly contested areas, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it is stepping up campaigns across the nation. The DPP considers Keelung, Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, and Maoli, Yilan, Nantou, Penghu, Changhua and Yunlin counties as areas where its candidates are facing fierce competition, a party source said. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Vice President William Lai (賴清德) and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) plan to visit those areas again this week, the source said. The night before the elections,
A naval landing craft on Thursday sank near Kinmen County after wet weather and rough seas flooded its cabin, the Naval Fleet Command said. The vessel, called Landing Craft Mechanized 1326, had completed transport and replenishment missions in the county and was returning to Taiwan proper when surging waves flooded the cabin, the navy said in a statement. The craft’s five crew members tried to bail out the water to no avail, the Navy said. The landing craft eventually sank off Kinmen’s Liaoluo Bay (料羅灣) at 5:18pm, although all crew members rescued, it said, adding that the precise cause of the sinking