JAKARTADAILY.ID - Taiwan opened its de facto embassy in Lithuania last year called the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, instead of using its alternative name Taipei, which is more common.
According to Reuters on Wednesday (January 26, 2022), this move prompted Beijing to downgrade its diplomatic relationship with Lithuania and pressed multinationals to sever ties with the country, threatening to exclude them from the Chinese market.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, representing President Gitanas Nauseda, last week proposed to modify the Chinese version of the office name to refer to "Taiwanese people" in an attempt to reduce tensions with China.
However, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry rebuked that such a proposal exists.
"Neither our country's Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania nor the Foreign Ministry has ever received a request from the Lithuanian government to change the Chinese or English name," it said in a statement.
"In the future, our country will continue to work with international democratic allies to support Lithuania; even in difficult circumstances, Taiwan will continue to demonstrate the resilience and perseverance of a democratic country."
Lithuanian officials have been complaining of Chinese retaliation to Washington and the U.S. has stepped up its economic and diplomatic support in the matter.
"It is their right to make these decisions as a sovereign nation. The suggestion that we would be pressuring them to somehow change the name is fundamentally at odds with our entire position," a senior U.S. administration said.