Taipei [Taiwan], July 20 (ANI): Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Tuesday announced that the country will be opening a representative office in Lithuania.
Speaking at a virtual press conference, Wu said after months of negotiations, the governments of Taiwan and Lithuania agreed to open a representative office in their respective capitals.
"We will soon establish the Taiwanese Representative Office in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius and preparations are well underway," Kyodo News quoted Wu as saying.
According to the ministry, it will be Taiwan's second representative office in Europe. The first was opened in Slovakia in 2003.
In August last year, Taiwan established a representative office in the breakaway territory of Somaliland, which opened a representative office in Taipei one month later.
The move angered China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, reported Kyodo News.
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.
The Japanese publication further reported that when the Lithuanian government announced in March its plan to open a representative office in Taiwan by the end of this year, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the Baltic state should "refuse to be taken advantage of by Taiwan separatist forces, and avoid doing anything detrimental to bilateral political mutual trust."
Meanwhile, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis earlier this month said the establishment of a representative office in Taiwan and other Asian countries is not intended to counter China but to reach out to the Indo-Pacific region out of national interest, including boosting his country's exports and promoting freedom and democracy, Kyodo News reported citing a report from Taiwan News. (ANI)