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2021.11.03 10:12

US backs Lithuania’s Taiwan policy, Nausėda says after meeting Biden

Mindaugas Laukagalis, LRT.lt2021.11.03 10:12

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda asked the US to support Lithuania’s policy vis-à-vis China, he said after meeting American leader Joe Biden at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Nausėda had a chance to talk to President Biden during an official reception on Monday evening.

Read more: Despite China’s ‘irritation’, Lithuania’s position on Taiwan ‘remains unchanged’ – president

“I once again thanked the United States for its involvement in our defence and security. Of course, I asked for consistent support for our policy vis-à-vis China,” Nausėda said in Glasgow. “Currently, Lithuania is a target, and we need to have the support of the US, the EU, and Australia.”

“President Biden said that [the US] is closely following Lithuania’s steps and that it supports us on this path,” he added.

On August 10, China’s Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and told Vilnius to follow suit. Relations between the two countries turned sour after Lithuania allowed Taipei to open a representation in Vilnius using the name ‘Taiwan’, a move that Beijing sees as an attempt to recognise the self-ruled island as an independent country.

Beijing considers Taiwan part of China and has said Lithuania's moves are a breach of the so-called One China principle.

According to Nausėda, the decision to allow a Taiwanese representation to open in Vilnius “does not question the One China policy” but demonstrates Lithuania’s desire to pursue an independent foreign policy.

“Lithuania does not seek to provoke a conflict. Our goal is to implement the foreign policy of a sovereign state, to establish cultural and economic relations with regions and states with which we want to do so,” the Lithuanian president said.

Last week, a delegation of Taiwanese politicians and businesspeople visited Lithuania. Taiwan's Minister of National Development Kung Ming-hsin said that the island planned to open its economic representation in Vilnius by the end of the year, despite China's objections.

Read more: Taiwan delegation visiting Lithuania amid Beijing-Vilnius tensions

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