Taiwan Buys Lithuanian Rum Blocked by China 立陶宛酒遭中國卡關 台酒購入表達支持

Taiwan and Lithuania have been strengthening the bilateral relationship as of late. Recently, a shipment of Lithuanian rum was blocked by Chinese customs, and Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation announced it would buy it.


China has issued sanctions on Lithuania over the latter's decision to set up a representative office in Taiwan. It also canceled purchase orders, including a shipment of 20,000 bottles of Lithuanian rum that is currently stuck at a Chinese port. Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation heard about this, and announced it is going to buy the shipment. The bottles will go on sale in Taiwan at the end of January. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with the foreign ministers of nine NATO countries on Jan. 3, during which he expressed his support for Lithuania.

Remus Chen, Director-General, Dept. of European Affairs, MOFA: “In light of China stepping up its political pressure and economic coercion with each passing day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to once again express our gratitude to our democratic partners in the US and Europe for their support of Lithuania.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Lithuania has already passed the relevant legislation needed to set up a rep office in Taiwan, and it is currently selecting a representative and actively making preparations. Meanwhile, it has come to light that former Ambassador to Nicaragua Jaime Wu, who is retired, obtained Nicaraguan citizenship just one day after Nicaragua severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan and has continued living there instead of returning to Taiwan. MOFA admitted Wu didn't provide any prior notification.

Joanne Ou, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “After the Nicaraguan government announced they were severing relations with us on Dec. 10, they announced they had granted Nicaraguan citizenship to Ambassador Jaime Wu effective immediately. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not notified by Ambassador Wu of this beforehand, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not know of this beforehand.”

MOFA said Wu had asked to be allowed to retire multiple times, but was convinced to keep on working until permission was finally granted in September 2021. The retirement application process was faultless. After relations were severed, Wu said his wife's health issues prevent her from taking a long flight back to Taiwan. He later accepted Nicaraguan citizenship. MOFA hopes he will provide an explanation for this incident.

 

 

 

立陶宛因為設立台灣代表處遭到中國制裁,中國更取消立陶宛商品訂單,最近更有一批兩萬多瓶的立陶宛黑蘭姆酒,卡關在中國港口,即將面臨漂流命運,台灣菸酒公司得知消息出手收購,1月下旬就會上架販售。不只台灣挺立陶宛,美國國務卿布林肯3日與北約9個成員國外長通話,堅定聲援立陶宛。

外交部歐洲司長陳立國表示:「面對中國日益升高的政治壓力以及經濟脅迫,外交部再次感謝,美歐各個民主夥伴一起支持立陶宛。」

至於立陶宛來台設處的進度,外交部表示,立陶宛已經完成相關法規,目前也正在遴選館長,積極籌備。至於近期,已退休的前駐尼加拉瓜大使吳進木,斷交後獲頒尼國國籍,並且滯留當地沒有返台,引起議論批評,外交部說明吳進木並沒有事先告知入籍一事。

外交部發言人歐江安表示:「12月10號跟我們宣布斷交之後,他們公報已經公布了,就是尼加拉瓜政府,授予吳進木大使尼加拉瓜國籍這件事,當天公告就已經立即生效。這一部分,外交部事前沒有獲吳大使告知,所以我們外交部事前不知道這件事情。」

歐江安表示吳進木先前多次申請退休,但都有慰留直到2021年9月底才准辭,申請退休程序完備。不過吳進木斷交後卻表示,因為太太身體狀況不適合長途搭機返台,之後接受尼國國籍一事,希望他本人能夠自己出面說明,釐清爭議。

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