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Taiwan's Foreign Minister to Visit Lithuania

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Photo: Taiwan's Foreign Minister to Visit Lithuania. Source: ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter
Photo: Taiwan's Foreign Minister to Visit Lithuania. Source: ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter

The Foreign Minister of Taiwan, Joseph Wu, will arrive in Lithuania on Thursday as part of his visit to the Baltic countries. He plans to visit the Lithuanian Parliament, where he will meet with pro-Taiwanese lawmakers, but will not meet with the country's leadership, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as reported by LRT.

On Thursday evening, Taiwan's top diplomat will participate in the "Future of Democracy" forum organized by the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lithuania's Foreign Minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, will also deliver an introductory speech at the event, but the ministry stated that there is no planned bilateral meeting between the two ministers.

"We adhere to the 'One China' policy, which means we have no official contacts with Taiwan," Landsbergis told reporters on Wednesday.

Representatives of Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, and the Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen also announced that they do not plan to meet with the Taiwanese minister. Political analysts believe that Lithuania's leaders and the executive branch will not meet with Joseph Wu because they do not want to upset China by implying recognition of Taiwan as a state.

However, Lithuanian parliamentarians are planning to hold a series of meetings with Taiwan's Foreign Minister.

"We will discuss economic cooperation and investments from both sides. We see opportunities that have not been fully utilized. We would very much like to offer Lithuania as a gateway to the EU market for Taiwan," said Matas Maldeikis, the head of the parliamentary group on relations with Taiwan, on Wednesday.

It should be noted that Vilnius's decision to allow Taipei to open a representative office in the Lithuanian capital in 2021 angered China, which restricted its relations with Lithuania and blocked Lithuanian exports and imports. Lithuania, however, claims to respect the "One China" principle.

This week, Estonia followed in Lithuania's footsteps: Tallinn announced that it would allow Taiwan to open a non-diplomatic representation of Taipei in the country to strengthen economic and cultural ties with the island but promises to adhere to the "One China" policy in political relations.

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