Many have speculated that Lithuania will bow to increasing pressure from Beijing to rename its Taiwan Representative Office, however many familiar with the matter are pushing back.
Taiwan opened its Representative Office in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, last November. This “greatly angered China,” as most things Taiwan does do. Beijing immediately began exerting pressure on the small Baltic country, forcing them to withdraw its ambassador from China and attempting to sever economic ties, amongst other coercive tactics to bring Lithuania to heel. China believes that using the name “Taiwan” is a great threat to its national sovereignty, even though the Taiwan has never been part of the People’s Republic of China.
Many believed, and some still believe, that Lithuania will change the name of the representative office in order to dodge pressure from China. However some intimately involved in the matter have come forward to push back on that notion.
Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė, Chief Adviser to the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, said that she does not currently support changing the name of the office. Though see did hint that the initial naming was a mistake.
Reuters recently reported that Taiwan had received requests to change the name of the office. However, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry flatly denies this, saying they have received no such request.
It is yet to be seen what will happen with the future of Taiwan-Lithuania relations, but it seems that Taiwan is certainly willing to fight for its friends, evidenced by Taiwan’s recent pledge to fund joint projects between the two countries and even buy up over 20,000 bottle of Lithuanian rum blocked by Chinese authorities.