London, July 21 (CNA) A Legislative Yuan delegation led by President You Si-kun (游錫堃) arrived in Lithuania on Thursday after concluding a four-day visit to the Czech Republic.
Upon arrival in Vilnius, the Taiwanese delegation was received by Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, or the Seimas, who hosted a dinner for them, according to reports released by the Seimas and other related agencies.
On Friday, You’s delegation is due to meet Vice Speakers of the Seimas Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė and Pauliumi Saudargu as well as other Lithuanian lawmakers from the Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Committees.
Your delegation will also visit the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, located in the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, the capital of the Baltic state.
The museum, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting documents related to the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union and German Nazis, anti-Soviet Lithuanian partisans and victims of arrests, deportations and executions amid the 1940s and early 1990s before the independence of the Baltic state, was considered one of the most important monuments of Vilnius democracy.
During the visit, which will end on July 23, the Speaker of the Taiwanese Legislative Assembly and his fellow lawmakers will also visit other places to commemorate Lithuania’s democratic development, including the Baltic Way, also known as the name of “Freedom Chain”, which represented a peaceful political demonstration. which happened on August 23, 1989, according to reports.
You’s delegation is made up of ruling Democratic Progressive Party deputy Huang Shih-chieh (黃世杰), opposition Taiwan People’s Party deputy Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿), and opposition Kuomintang Kung deputies Wen-chi (孔文吉) and Wan Mei-Ling (萬美玲), who also heads the Taiwan-Czech Parliamentary Friendship Association.
Speaking to CNA, Raigirdas Boruta, a political analyst at the Center for Eastern European Studies (CESE), an independent think tank, which focuses on the analysis of international political processes and the role of Lithuania in the processes, said You’s delegation to Vilnius marked Taiwan’s second successful official visit since July, and showed that the Taiwanese government values its ties with the Baltic state.
At the invitation of the Lithuanian parliament, the Taiwanese government sent a delegation to a conference held in Vilnius in early July which marked the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Lithuania and the United States.
The delegation included Taiwan’s top envoy to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Vice Foreign Minister Harry Tseng (曾厚仁).
Boruta said that although Lithuania has faced increasing pressure from China as it seeks to forge closer ties with Taiwan, Vilnius still seems willing to receive You’s delegation, indicating the Baltic country is determined. to continue its efforts to improve bilateral relations. and deliver on its promise to promote values-based diplomacy based on an appreciation for diversity, dialogue, mutual understanding and the peaceful resolution of disputes in all areas of international relations.
Boruta added that You’s delegation’s inclusion of several democratic monuments in Lithuania in the trip should further impress the people of the Baltic state, as Taipei has paid close attention to the pain the people have endured.
The presence of these Taiwanese lawmakers at the Occupation and Freedom Fighting Museum on Friday will mark Taiwan’s first official visit, indicating historical significance to the two countries, Boruta said.
As Lithuania’s relations with Taiwan have improved, the Baltic state has come under strong political and economic pressure from Beijing, particularly over the appointment of Taiwan’s office there – the Representative Office Taiwanese in Lithuania.
Taiwan generally names its overseas representative offices “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office” or “Taipei Representative Office”, in accordance with the preference of host countries to avoid any reference that would imply that Taiwan is a separate country from China. .
Beijing has sought to impose a political cost on Lithuania for its decision to allow the use of “Taiwanese” in the name of the Taiwan office, seeing the name as encouraging formal independence.
Before You and his delegation arrived in Vilnius on Thursday, they flew into Poland, where they met Waldemar Andzel, chairman of the Polish-Taiwanese parliamentary group.
You invited Andzel, who had visited Taiwan twice in the past, to return to Taipei, saying that Poland’s strong support for Ukraine, which has been invaded by Russia since February 24, has moved the democratic world.