Taiwan, Lithuania affirm cooperation amid China's displeasure

Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen and Lithuania's parliament speaker affirmed cooperation Monday after the mutual establishment of representative offices in recent years angered Beijing, which regards the self-ruled island as its own.

Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen told Tsai during a luncheon that her country's cooperation with democratic Taiwan can become "a success story" and a compelling model for many other European countries.

The speaker of the Seimas, Lithuania's parliament, said the two sides' efforts to demonstrate that democracies working together strengthen each other, while Tsai noted they have become "close partners," collaborating in such areas as lasers, semiconductors and biotechnology.

China was infuriated when the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania was inaugurated in November 2021, the first time the word "Taiwanese" was used rather than "Taipei" for a de facto embassy in Europe.

The opening of the de facto embassies has led China to downgrade its relations with Lithuania and curb imports from the Baltic country.

Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since they split amid a civil war in 1949. Beijing opposes any official contact between other countries and the island.

© Kyodo News