Important Diplomatic Development Between Taiwan-Lithuania 駐立陶宛台灣代表處掛牌 外交重要進展

The official opening of the Taiwanese Representative Office on Nov. 18 in Lithuania is an important milestone in the relationship between the two sides. 


The Taiwanese representative office in Lithuania has officially opened for operation. This has been 18 years since Slovakia in 2003 that Taiwan has once again set up a representative office in Europe. According to Lithuanian media reports, Zygimantas Pavilionis, chairperson of the Lithuanian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that this is a victory for freedom and democracy. It is of great significance for Lithuanians who regained their independence. 

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania Minister of Foreign Affairs: “(China rebounds) This result, although we do not like to see China unhappy from this event, we believe our country's interests must be built on a democratic state and a closer economic connection and relations with democracies. We believe economic relations with a democratic country can last longer because they follow the rule of law. So I think this is more in line with our national interest.”

Matas Maldeikis, Chair of the Lithuanian Parliament's Taiwan Group: “We agree with the one-China principle, but at the same time, we also have our sovereignty and laws. Cooperating with Taiwan is more in line with Lithuania's national interests. So we will do this.”

An important milestone has been set for Taiwan-Lithuania relations. Members of both parties in the U.S. Senate are happy to see this development. Chairman Bob Menendez of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, praised Lithuania for defending democracy from Taipei to Minsk. This shows leadership ability, but also ignited China's anger. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protested with a press release, threatening that Lithuania will be responsible for the consequences. According to analysts, if China continues to suppress Lithuania, it may trigger a backlash from other EU member states and affect China's strategic layout.

Lin Ting-hui, Deputy Secretary-General, Taiwanese Society of International Law: “Eastern European countries and China have built a 17+1 economic forum. This economic forum may collapse due to possible domino effects from Lithuania. This collapse may affect the final destination of China's Belt and Road Initiative, which ends in Greece. This will change China's overall strategy.”

Chiu Chih-wei, Legislator (DPP): “This is a breakthrough. Both countries didn't have representative offices in the past but we have been able to systematically promote the relationship between our two countries, from economics and trade to strategic cooperation and human rights (etc.).”

Taiwan and Lithuania have opened a new page for exchanges and cooperation. Even though they are not countries with diplomatic relations with each other, analysts believe that further strengthening substantive relations should be the focus of our diplomatic push.

 

 

駐立陶宛台灣代表處正式掛牌運作,這是繼2003年斯洛伐克後,隔了18年,台灣再次在歐洲設立代表處。根據立陶宛媒體報導,立陶宛國會外交委員會主席帕維里歐尼斯認為,這是自由民主的勝利,友台小組主席馬爾德基斯則表示,這對曾見證國家重獲獨立的立陶宛人而言,意義重大。

立陶宛外長Landsbergis 表示:「(中國反彈)這個結果,雖然不是我們樂見的,但我們相信國家的利益,必須建立在與民主國家,建立更緊密的連結。我們相信與民主國家的經濟關係,是能夠延續且更長久的,因為他們有遵循法治原則,所以我認為這更符合我國國家利益。」

立陶宛國會友台小組主席Maldeikis表示:「我們認同一中原則同時,我們也擁有自己的主權和法律。與台灣合作,更符合立陶宛的國家利益,所以我們將這樣做。」

台立關係立下重要里程碑,美國參議院兩黨議員都樂見此發展,像是參議院外交委員會主席梅南德茲推文讚許立陶宛,捍衛從台北到(白俄羅斯首都)明斯克的民主,展現領導能力,但也點燃了中國的怒火,中國外交部以新聞稿強烈抗議,揚言後果由立陶宛自負。學者分析,若中國持續打壓立陶宛,恐怕會引發其他歐盟會員國的反彈,也會影響中國的戰略布局。

台灣國際法學會副秘書長林廷輝表示:「東歐國家跟中國,建構一個17+1的經濟論壇,這個經濟論壇,可能隨著立陶宛的骨牌效應,可能瓦解掉,這個瓦解掉,對中國推動一帶一路最後的終點,是從希臘上岸的這一個概念來講,會影響中國的整個戰略的變化。」

民進黨立委邱志偉表示:「這已經突破了,雙邊過去沒有代表處的情況,就可以很有系統來推動雙方關係,從經貿從戰略合作從人權(等等)。」

台灣與立陶宛開啓交流合作新頁,即使目前不是互為邦交國,但學者認為,進一步強化實質關係,才是推動外交事務的重點。
 

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