2021.09.13 09:55

Global legislators back Lithuania against Chinese ‘bullying’ in video statement

LRT.lt2021.09.13 09:55

Over a dozen legislators from Europe, Australia, Japan and New Zealand have called for international support for Lithuania in its diplomatic spat with China.

The VIDEO statement featured members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) from twelve legislatures. The legislators call on democratic states to stand ready to provide assistance to the Lithuanian government should it be subject to further punitive measures from Beijing.

Speakers in the video include those who have been personally targetted by Chinese government sanctions in recent months: German Green Party MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, chair of the European Parliament’s China delegation; former UK Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan-Smith; Lithuanian MP Dovilė Šakalienė and EPP MEP Miriam Lexman.

Dėl Kinijos veiksmų prieš Lietuvą ir Taivaną, pasaulio politikai išreiškė palaikymą Lietuvos pozicijai

The campaign is a response to a number of trade sanctions and threats made against Lithuania following the opening of Taiwan’s Representative Office in Vilnius, with Chinese officials objecting to the Representative Office bearing the name of ‘Taiwan’ rather than ‘Taipei’.

Read more: People in Taiwan up spending Lithuania’s online stores as ties grow stronger

Speaking in the video, Irish Senator Malcolm Byrne said: “By bullying Lithuania, Beijing hopes to send a warning to democracies across the world.”

Representative Shiori Yamao of Japan said: “Taiwan has a vital role to play in the international community, and all states have the right to establish relations with Taiwan as they see fit.”

MEP Reinhard Bütikofer said: “If Lithuania is punished by Beijing, its democratic allies across the world must be ready to assist.”

IPAC has previously coordinated parliamentary activities urging governments to support the inclusion of Taiwan at the World Health Assembly and a global call for solidarity with Australian wine producers hit by politically-motivated Chinese trade sanctions.

Read more: Lithuania expects “economic” support to withstand China's sanctions – committee chair

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