Lithuania will not be “intimidated” by Communist China on its decision to open a de facto Taiwanese embassy, a leading MP has told Breitbart News.
On Tuesday, the government of Taiwan announced that it had come to an agreement to establish an embassy-style office in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.
The move from the former Soviet bloc nation was seen by the tyrannical regime in Beijing as a breach of the so-called “One China” policy, under which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims that Taiwan — a sovereign nation with its own currency and democratically elected leaders — is still part of China.
Through state-run media, the Chinese government has threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Lithuania over the opening of the Taiwanese Representative Office, which Beijing claims sends the “wrong signals to the Taiwan secessionists”.
In an interview with Breitbart London, Dovilė Šakalienė, a member of the Social Democratic Party in the Lithuanian Parliament, said that threats from Beijing will not deter Lithuania from standing with Taiwan.
“We should not be intimidated by China… we should not be afraid of developing relations with another country because somebody is threatening us,” she said.
“We have been friendly with Taiwan for many years, on the parliamentary and governmental level, and I think that for all the world, or at least the free world, Hong Kong was a horrible lesson and I think that it was an eye-opener for Taiwan as well.
“They saw what it means to become unified with China, it means death by strangling.
“So we, as a small country, which is neighbored by bloody authoritarian regimes, we understand Taiwan, because, on your own, you can be easy prey.”
Šakalienė went on to explain that in terms of the geopolitical landscape, Taiwan is a very important player in the East Asian region and therefore it is a “joint interest of the NATO” to support the Western democratic society of Taiwan to act as a bulwark against the totalitarianism of Beijing.
“It’s not that long ago that we were fighting for our democracy, for our right to keep our language and our culture. We were swallowed by the Soviet Union for half a century. So there are many reasons for supporting Taiwan: political, economical, sentimental, and geopolitical”.
What a beautiful morning😁🇱🇹🇹🇼❤#Lithuania and #Taiwan will become even closer friends. We both are small democratic states, both neighboured by bloody authoritarian regimes, but both not easily intimidated 💪 https://t.co/LOzDsR9q4I
— Dovilė Šakalienė (@DSakaliene) July 20, 2021
Šakalienė, who was sanctioned earlier this year by the Chinese Communist Party for introducing legislation condemning the “genocide” being committed in Xinjiang against the Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities, said that Lithuania’s history under the communist rule of the Soviet Union has informed her country’s stance against Chinese aggression.
“I am myself born of a family of political prisoners and exiles, who were persecuted by the Soviet Union communist regime,” she said.
Šakalienė said that, in her eyes, the concentration camp system in Xinjiang is a direct “copy” of the gulags during the Soviet Union, “so of course, I wanted to do something about the Uyghur genocide”.
While the MP said that the sanctions imposed on her have negatively impacted her husband’s career as a diplomat, which resulted in his banishment from China, Hong Kong and Macau, she said that ultimately the sanctions have only served to galvanise political opinion in Lithuania against the communist regime.
The Lithuanian co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China told Breitbart London that her country is free to stand up to China because “Lithuania has one of the lowest indexes of co-dependence with China of all the countries in the world.”
Rejecting the idea that Lithuania could be swayed by economic incentives from China, she said: “I understand that there are some problems with people who leave prison, but in general, a healthy attitude towards prison is that you don’t want to go back, so no, we don’t have nostalgia for communism.”
The human rights advocate said that she has witnessed “with her own eyes” the ill effects of China’s debt-trap diplomacy Belt and Road Initiative during humanitarian missions to Africa, which has been a key pillar of China’s global domination scheme.
Noting that the debt incurred through partnering with CCP on infrastructure projects puts a “noose around the kneck of these countries,” Šakalienė said that Lithuania does not want to get too “friendly” with China because “it’s a mousetrap, and the mouse gets killed.”
Exclusive: Swedish Journalist Refuses to Back Down After ‘Consequences’ Threats from Chinese Embassy https://t.co/W8wr0fvsQZ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 22, 2021
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