US lawmakers introduce resolution to support Lithuania-Taiwan ties amid tensions with China

Washington [US] : Amid ongoing tensions with Beijing over Taipei, the US lawmakers on Friday introduced a resolution to support Lithuania’s efforts to strengthen its ties with Taiwan.
“Two ranking US senators introduced a resolution to support Lithuania’s efforts to strengthen its ties with Taiwan at a time when China has stepped up pressure against the Baltic state for treating Taipei in a way that offends Beijing,” Focus Taiwan reported. US Republican Senator Jim Risch, also a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, chair of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, jointly proposed the resolution.
“On July 20, 2021, the government of Lithuania announced the opening of a Taiwan Representative Office in its capital city of Vilnius. Since that courageous decision, Lithuania has faced unacceptable economic retaliation from China,” Focus Taiwan quoted Risch as saying in a statement.
“This resolution sends a message that when our friends stand up to malign Chinese influence, the United States will support them. I applaud the Lithuanian government for refusing to allow its foreign policy to be dictated by outside powers, and I fully support all nations in strengthening relations with Taiwan,” Risch added.
In late September, Lithuania’s parliament passed a legal revision that gave the green light for the country to open a representative office in countries like Taiwan with which the Baltic state does not have formal diplomatic relations, Focus Taiwan reported.
In addition, Taipei has also announced a plan to open a representative office in Vilnius which will bear the word “Taiwanese” in its name.
Beijing, which sees Taiwan and mainland China as part of one country, strongly objects to Taiwan being treated as a separate nation, including in name, seeing such actions as a violation of its “one China principle” and potentially jeopardizing its hopes of unifying with Taiwan one day.
Beijing has tried to impose a political cost on Baltic state for its decision to allow the use of “Taiwanese” in the name of Taiwan’s office, seeing such moves as encouraging Taipei to pursue formal independence. It has blocked some exports from Lithuania from entering China and has recalled its ambassador from the country, Focus Taiwan reported.
The resolution proposed by the two US lawmakers is the latest effort by Washington to support Lithuania’s ties with Taiwan.

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