Taiwan and Europe must work together to defend against authoritarianism and propaganda, President Tsai Ing-wen met with lawmakers from the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Monday.
Lithuania has faced continued pressure from China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, after allowing it to open a de facto Taiwanese embassy in its capital.
Beijing has increased military and diplomatic pressure on Taipei to accept Chinese sovereignty claims and limit its international participation, although Tsai says Taiwan will not succumb to threats and will defend its freedom and democracy.
Tsai told lawmakers in the presidential office that Taiwan and the Baltic nations – once part of the Soviet Union – share similar experiences of breaking free from authoritarian rule and fighting for independence.
“The democracy we are enjoying today was hard-earned. This is something we all understand most deeply,” she said.
“The world now faces the challenges posed by the spread of authoritarianism and the threat of propaganda. Taiwan is ready to share its experience in combating propaganda with its European friends. We need to ensure our free and democratic way of life. to protect our shared values.”
Matas Maldeikis, leader of the Taiwan Friendship Group of the Lithuanian Parliament, replied to Tsai that his group was in Taipei to express their solidarity with the island.
“The policy of the Lithuanian government towards Taiwan enjoys wide support in our society.
Preserving freedom and a rules-based international order is of vital interest to both Taiwan and Lithuania,” he said.
There are many opportunities for economic and cultural cooperation, Maldekis said, whose visit has been condemned by China.
No EU member state has official relations with Taiwan.
The United States strongly supports its NATO ally Lithuania along with China.
Lithuania also faces problems with migrants at the border with Belarus, with pressure from Russia and Belarus.