Foreign media: Lithuania is discussing renaming the Taiwan Representative Office

2022-04-26 0 By

Lithuanian officials are discussing whether to ask Taiwan authorities to change the name of its representative office in Lithuania in a bid to ease tensions over neutrality, two sources said, Reuters reported Thursday.According to sources, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Landsberges recently proposed to President Alexander Nowseda that Taiwan authorities change the name of the Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania to the Taiwan People’s Representative Office in Lithuania to ease tensions with China.Linas Kojala, head of the Center for Eastern European Studies think tank in Vilnius, said the Lithuanian government may want to stress that the office represents not Taiwan as a “political entity” but “the People of Taiwan” with whom Lithuania wants to establish cultural, economic and other relations.But no cosmetic step by Lithuania is likely to change China’s attitude.On November 18, 2021, the Lithuanian government, despite the solemn representations of the Chinese side, allowed the Taiwan authorities to set up a Representative office of Taiwan in Lithuania.On November 26, 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China issued an official note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, deciding to rename the Chinese diplomatic mission in Lithuania as the Representative Office of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Lithuania, and requesting the Cube to change the title of the Diplomatic mission in China accordingly.The stalemate in neutrality has also left Lithuanian businesses facing huge economic losses.At a meeting last week, Lithuanian business leaders said they had “sacrificed too much” for an unpopular policy, according to the Financial Times.Earlier, Lithuanian President Alexander Nowseda called the so-called “Taiwan representative Office” a “mistake” and a decision made by the government without his knowledge.A poll by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry last month showed that only 13 percent of Lithuanians supported the government’s China policy.File photo of Lithuanian President Alexander Nowseda.Us diplomats have advised Lithuanian officials to change the name of their “Taiwan representative office” in case the situation across the Taiwan Strait changes.The White House denies this.Reports say the diplomatic spat is clearly a headache for the United States.The US wants to boost what Taiwan calls its “international influence”, but at the same time does not want to be seized on by China for accusing the US of violating the One-China principle.Taiwan’s foreign affairs department has never received any request to rename its Taiwan representative office, ou Jiang-an, a spokesman for the Taiwan Foreign Affairs Department, said Monday in response to reports that Lithuania’s foreign minister is considering renaming the office.On the same day, Zhu Fenglian, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, reiterated at a regular press briefing that China is firmly opposed to any act that undermines the One-China principle.We hope relevant Lithuanian side will take concrete actions to correct previous mistakes.