On July 20, 2021, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will open a representative office in Lithuania’s capital that will be the first ’embassy’ in Europe to bear the island’s name, defying the CCP’s ‘one China’ policy.
According to Taiwan News, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said the name of the new office will be ‘Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania’ and will be the first such office in Europe to have ‘Taiwan’ in the name.
To avoid diplomatic friction with the Chinese communist regime, Taiwanese government authorities have always used indirect ways to name their representative offices in countries that maintain relations with China.
According to the Beijing propaganda media, Global Times, the name ‘Taiwan representative office’ shows ‘malicious intent’ of Lithuania that impacts the foundation of China ties,’ principle with which the CCP claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
In its editorial, the Global Times, the CCP threatened Lithuania.
“… if Lithuania continues to go down the wrong path, it may lead to the severing of diplomatic ties between the two countries, as the one-China principle is the bottom line of China and the political foundation of all countries to have diplomatic ties with China.”
But according to Breitbart, Dovilė Šakalienė, a member of the Social Democratic Party in the Lithuanian Parliament, the CCP’s threats will achieve nothing.
“We should not be intimidated by China… we should not be afraid of developing relations with another country because somebody is threatening us,” the parliamentarian said.
“We have been friendly with Taiwan for many years, on the parliamentary and governmental level, and I think that for all the world, or at least the free world, Hong Kong was a horrible lesson and I think that it was an eye-opener for Taiwan as well,” she said, referring to how the CCP violated the agreement with the British government and crushed the few civil liberties of Hong Kongers when it passed the national security law last year with which it basically controls the island.
As a former member of the Soviet Union, Lithuania knows from first-hand experience what it means to live under a communist regime. It, therefore, understands the rebelliousness and intent to be an independent nation of Taiwan.
“They saw what it means to become unified with China, it means death by strangling,” Šakalienė stated. “It’s not that long ago that we were fighting for our democracy, for our right to keep our language and our culture. We were swallowed by the Soviet Union for half a century. So there are many reasons for supporting Taiwan: political, economical, sentimental, and geopolitical.”
The parliamentarian is the daughter of political exiles who were persecuted by the Soviet regime, and her understanding of communism is clear and from that, stems her determination to support Taiwan.
Earlier this year, Šakalienė introduced a resolution in the Lithuanian parliament to condemn the genocide against the Uighurs in Xinjiang province. As a result, the CCP sanctioned her, which affected the diplomatic career of her husband, who now cannot travel to China, Hong Kong, or Macau, she explained.
Šakalienė said that the concentration camps where the Chinese regime abuses Uighurs, and other prisoners of conscience, are a copy of the Soviet regime’s gulags, which motivated her to submit the resolution.
Another advantage of Lithuania in challenging the CCP is that it is the European country with the lowest rate of dependence on China in the world.
Having been to Africa, the parliamentarian saw the impact of the CCP’s global domination project, ‘one road, one belt’ whereby the Chinese government gives ‘loans’ to developing countries in exchange for building infrastructure, but ultimately when the debt cannot be repaid because of their weak economies, the CCP seizes land, water, and natural resources from those countries.
Rejecting the idea that Lithuania could be swayed by China’s economic incentives, Šakalienė said:
“I understand that there are some problems with people who leave prison, but in general, a healthy attitude towards prison is that you don’t want to go back, so no, we don’t have nostalgia for communism.”