Taiwanese officials said on Wednesday (January 5) that Taiwan is setting up an investment fund and plans to take other measures to help Lithuania. This Baltic country is facing tremendous political pressure and economic retaliation from China for allowing Taipei to open a representative office in its capital Vilnius in the name of Taiwan.
Huang Junyao, Taiwan’s representative in Lithuania, announced in Vilnius on Wednesday that Taiwan will set up a US$200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries.
“This $200 million fund will be used to invest in Lithuania’s economy and help its companies, mainly in semiconductors, laser technology, biotechnology and other key industries,” he said at an online press conference.
According to Taiwan’s “Free Times” report, Huang Junyao also said that Taiwan will also speed up the approval process for Lithuanian dairy products and grain exports to Taiwan, and link Lithuanian companies with Taiwan’s supply chain.
In November last year, despite Beijing’s opposition, Lithuania allowed the establishment of a Taiwan representative office in Lithuania in its capital, triggering an angry response from Beijing, including downgrading diplomatic relations between the two countries and taking economic retaliatory measures against Lithuania.
China regards Taiwan as an inalienable part of its territory. Countries that have established diplomatic relations with China cannot establish mutual official institutions with Taiwan. With the exception of Somaliland, which is not recognized by Beijing, Taiwan’s representative offices in other countries are named after Taipei.
Lithuanian President Nauseda, who is at odds with Lithuanian Prime Minister Simmonit, said in an interview with the media on January 4 that it was a mistake for the Lithuanian government to allow Taipei to set up a representative office in Vilnius in the name of Taiwan . He said that this decision was not coordinated with him. But he also said that Lithuania must actively send a clear message to the EU that China’s “unconventional measures” against Lithuania are an attack on an EU country.
The Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Hilllit subsequently expressed his disagreement with President Nauseda’s comments. She said: “I don’t think this is a mistake.” The spokesperson of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the Lithuanian government welcomes the establishment of a Taiwan representative office in Taiwan, and the decision is “unwavering.”
U.S. Secretary of State Brinken said after meeting with the visiting German Foreign Minister Belle Burke on Wednesday that the two discussed China’s “bullying” of Lithuania during the meeting .
Brinken said: “We have immediate concerns about the Chinese government’s attempt to bully Lithuania, which has a population of less than three million. China is urging European and American companies to stop manufacturing products with Lithuanian-made components, otherwise they may lose market access in China. All of this is due to Lithuania’s decision to expand their cooperation with Taiwan.”
Brinken also said: “This is not just about Lithuania, but about every country in the world that should be able to determine its own foreign policy without being subjected to such coercion. The United States will work with our allies and partners, including Germany. Work together to stand up against intimidation such as those from China by strengthening the resilience of our economy, diversifying our supply chain and resisting all forms of economic blackmail.”
(This article refers to the Associated Press report.)