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US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent visit to Taiwan is important for Lithuania, but military tensions in the region would be bad, says Kestutis Budrys, the Lithuanian president's adviser on national security issues.
Nancy Pelosi vizitas
Nancy Pelosi vizitas
© AP / Scanpix

In his opinion, with this visit, the US maintained its consistent policy.

"What is relevant and important for us, for Lithuania, is that the decision that was announced (Pelosi's visit to Taiwan - BNS) was not changed. (...) After it was announced, this visit couldn’t take place. It's, therefore, important that the US maintained its consistent policy that threats are not the kind of language that can change political decisions. This is also important for us as a US ally," Budrys said in an interview with the public broadcaster LRT on Wednesday.

In his words, it's important for China's actions towards Taiwan in the area of trade to receive appropriate attention and reaction.

"Another thing that is important for us is that China's actions it took immediately against Taiwan in the area of the trade when it suddenly discovered all sorts of bacteria, infections or other things, fancy measures of all kinds, are not left without attention and reaction as such measures were also taken against us after our foreign policy decisions," Budrys said, adding that "authoritarian states cannot manipulate international trade rules with such measures".

The presidential adviser recognizes, however, that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is increasing the risk of a military escalation that could divert international attention from the war in Ukraine, adding that it would not be a good thing for Lithuania.

"This visit, which is also linked (...) to the risk of a possible military escalation, should not be a distraction from a much more important issue for us, the war in Ukraine, which also requires constant international attention. The emergence of another military flashpoint or the escalation of this topic is not good for Lithuania," Budrys said.

Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday, despite statements from Beijing, which considers self-ruled, democratic Taiwan to be its territory, issued a string of stark warnings for Pelosi not to travel to Taiwan as it would be deemed as a major provocation.

Following Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, China announced that it would carry out a series of military exercises around the island with live ammunition.

Taiwan has also recently become a source of tensions between Lithuania and China.

Last year, as relations between Vilnius and Taipei deepened, a Taiwanese representative office was opened in Lithuania in the autumn. This caused Chinese resentment, as elsewhere in the world Taiwanese missions operate under the name of the capital Taipei, following an international consensus that such a name is in line with the "One China" policy.

Following the opening of the representative office, Beijing downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania and imposed trade restrictions, which the European Union took to the World Trade Organization.

BNS
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