Taipei urges Japan, others to expand ties in Taiwan Strait

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Tsai also said that increasing collaboration among Taiwan and its partners will make Beijing exercise restraint in its policy-making, including military activities…reports Asian Lite News

Amid Chinese repressive measures, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday called on Japan and other developed countries to step up cooperation to help ensure peace and stability on the Taiwan Strait.

Tsai made the appeal in an online interview with Japanese monthly magazine Bungei Shunju, reported NHK World.

She said Japan, the United States and other nations discussing the Taiwan Strait and expressing concern sends a signal to China, which has been continuing its military buildup.

Tsai also said that increasing collaboration among Taiwan and its partners will make Beijing exercise restraint in its policy-making, including military activities, reported NHK World.

Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

China has repeatedly threatened Taiwan with invasion and has adopted an aggressive policy to intimidate the self-governing island.

On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island.

She mentioned the joint statement issued after a Japan-US summit in April and the communique of the Group of Seven summit in June, both of which referred to the importance of peace and stability on the strait.

The president said Japan’s donation of coronavirus vaccines to Taiwan is proof of their long-standing friendship, and she is grateful that the country offered a helping hand at a most challenging time for Taiwan, reported NHK World.

She added that she wants to pass on the bilateral relations to the next generation.

Taiwan lauds Lithuania

Taiwan on Wednesday lauded Lithuania for what it called a “courageous and principled stance” after the Baltic nation said it is determined to pursue mutually beneficial ties with the self-ruled island despite growing Chinese pressure.

Taking to Twitter, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Lithuania and Taiwan will continue working together to safeguard freedom and democracy for the benefit of “our citizens”.

“We applaud Lithuania’s courageous and principled stance on Taiwan. Friendship, cooperation and respect are the bedrock of positive international engagement. As forces for good, we’ll continue working together to safeguard freedom and democracy for the benefit of our citizens,” the ministry tweeted.

This comes after the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry issued a statement in response to China’s decision to recall its envoy over Vilnius’ plan to open a Taiwan representative office.

In July, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu announced that Taiwan would open a representative office in Vilnius.

Japanese-Prime-Minister-Yoshihide-Suga

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday strongly opposed Vilnius’ decision saying “the government “decided to recall the Chinese ambassador from Lithuania and asked the Lithuanian government to recall its ambassador from China”.

Lithuania does not yet have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but it maintains increasingly friendly relations with Taipei.

Vilnius has been an increasingly vocal critic of China’s actions towards Taiwan, as well as in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday strongly opposed Vilnius’ decision saying “the government “decided to recall the Chinese ambassador from Lithuania and asked the Lithuanian government to recall its ambassador from China”.

Reacting to China’s decision, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said: “While regretting this move of China, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry takes this opportunity to reiterate that in line with the One-China principle Lithuania is determined to pursue mutually beneficial ties with Taiwan like many other countries in the European Union and the rest of the world do.”

Tensions between China and Lithuania have escalated in recent months. In May, Lithuania pulled out of China’s 17+1 cooperation forum with central and eastern European states.

Meanwhile, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has even urged other EU member countries to follow suit amid worsening ties between the 27-member bloc and China.

In May, the Lithuanian parliament termed China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority as “genocide”, and voted to call for a UN probe of the internment camps in the country’s northwest region of Xinjiang. (ANI)

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