Lithuanian minister says Taiwan office a ‘very important step’

Formally called the Lithuanian Trade Office in Taipei, it comes under Zemaitis’ ministry and is headed by Paulius Lukauskas, previously an adviser to prime minister Ingrida Simonyte.

China has repeatedly denounced Lithuania’s engagement with Taiwan, which it views as Chinese territory over the strong objections of the government in Taipei.

Last month, China imposed sanctions on Lithuanian Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Agne Vaiciukeviciute for visiting Taiwan.

Asked whether China has warned him not to go come, Zemaitis, who has been leading a 28-person business delegation to Taiwan this week, said he had not had contact with “any of the Chinese representatives”.

Taiwan has sought to encourage Taiwanese investment in Lithuania and to import more goods from the country.

“I think we are right now very intensively working on the best possible economic outcome together with our Taiwanese colleagues and I think we’re on a very, very good track,” Zemaitis said.

“Of course when it comes to the overall market diversification which is important globally for many countries including European (ones), I think this is always a process that might take some time.”