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Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has called on the country's government to "fix" the name of the Taiwanese representative office so that its name sounds the same in all languages.
President urges to "fix" Taiwanese office name
© DELFI / Josvydas Elinskas

"The name of the Taiwanese office does not sound the same in the Lithuanian, English and Chinese languages. So lets at least fix those things that are clearly visible," Nauseda said in an interview with the public broadcaster LRT on Thursday.

"I think it's absolutely natural. Irrespective of which institution we have in mind, or business, or representative office: if its names in different languages differ, so it raises completely unnecessary questions and unnecessary tensions. So at least, in this case, I think we can agree very clearly," he said.

Lithuanian-Chinese relations soured after a Taiwanese representative office was opened in Vilnius under the island's name. Experts say the name in Chinese sounds like it is Taiwan's representative office, and Beijing views that as Taiwan's attempt to act as an independent country. In other countries, similar offices operated under the name of Taipei.

Nauseda pointed out that the Taiwanese representative office's name in the Mandarin languages "was a key factor" in the conflict with China, adding that when the government made the decisions, they were not coordinated and the government failed to properly assess China's all possible retaliatory measures.

"We see today that China's moving deeper and deeper. Naturally, we need to take steps to prevent that at the EU level, but it is now creating certain tangible losses for part of Lithuanian businesses and we cannot tolerate that," the president said.

Citing several anonymous sources, Reuters reported on Tuesday that Landsbergis allegedly proposed to President Gitanas Nauseda to modify the Chinese version of the Taiwanese representation name to refer to "Taiwanese people" rather than to Taiwan.

Landsbergis denied that.

"No, there are no such intentions, there are no plans on the official name, I have said that numerous times," he told reported at the parliament on Wednesday.

BNS
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