On Thursday, in a significant development, Taiwan opened an embassy in Lithuania in a diplomatic breakthrough, brushing aside Chinese opposition to the move.
In August, China had demanded that Lithuania withdraw its ambassador to Beijing saying it would recall its envoy in Vilnius after Taiwan announced its office in the city would be called the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.
The development marks a victory for Taiwan since it comes despite strong Chinese efforts to get countries to limit their interactions with Taiwan.
Earlier this year, Lithuania said, it has decided to open its own representative office in Taiwan; it has yet to announce a date for it.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said the opening of the office would “charter a new and promising course” for ties between it and Lithuania. There was huge potential for cooperation in industries including semi-conductors, lasers and fintech, it said.
“Taiwan will cherish and promote this new friendship based on our shared values.”
The United States is supporting Lithuania and has offered its help to withstand Chinese pressure.
Many countries have de facto embassies in Taiwan, including Australia, Britain, and the United States.