This year, for example, the 2021 Taipei International Food Show featured Lithuanian products.
But there was also a political dimension to Lithuania’s participation as it also demonstrated the solidarity between Lithuania and Taiwan, and their strong commitment to upholding democracy against pressures from authoritarianism.
The annual international food show featured the first-ever Lithuanian pavilion, one of 15 national pavilions at the show.
Lithuania was participating for the first time because of the growing friendship and mutual support between the two countries.
The pavilion, which features 25 companies, including importers and distributors of Lithuanian products, opened with a traditional dance performance.
Ausra Andriuskaite, chairwoman of the Lithuanian community in Taiwan, said that even though there are only about 22 Lithuanian residents in Taiwan, she was still confident that Lithuania’s food products would find success in Taiwan, because consumers have similar preferences.
“Lithuanians and Taiwanese like to eat good quality and healthy food, and food from Lithuania is exactly like that,” said Andriuskaite, who is married to a Taiwanese and has lived in Taiwan for the past seven years.
“Taiwanese also like to try new things and they support Lithuania, so for sure they will want to taste the country’s food products,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Taipei Representative Office in the EU and Belgium has also welcomed the ever growing links between Taiwan and Lithuania.
This was reinforced recently when a large number of MEPs, and others, penned a letter of support for such collaboration.
The Office said, “We thank the Co-Chairs and members of the Formosa Club for their joint letter addressed to Charles Michel, President of the European Council; and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, reiterating their support for Lithuania deepening relations with Taiwan. The letter expresses the members’ grave concerns about China’s intensified coercive actions targeting Lithuania and European companies, and urges the EU to take concrete action as soon as possible to resist the coercion and ensure the rights of Member States to develop relations with Taiwan.”
The letter went on, “In the face of the increasing threats from authoritarian regimes, all like-minded countries should enhance cooperation to defend our shared values and beliefs.”
Meanwhile, China is pressuring German car parts giant Continental to stop using components made in Lithuania, reports Reuters, amid a dispute between Beijing and the Baltic state over the status of Taiwan.
The targeting of Continental is an example of how the China-Lithuania diplomatic spat is spilling over into business in an era of global supply chains and affecting Germany’s car industry, a lucrative pillar of Europe’s biggest economy.
The Chinese government downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania last month after the opening of a representative office by Taiwan in Vilnius.
Lithuania’s ruling coalition had also agreed last year to support what it described as “those fighting for freedom” on the island.
Ingrida Šimonytė, Lithuania’s prime minister, attacked what she called China’s “economic violence”.
She said the European Union would continue its principled stance, in place appropriate legal mechanisms against economic bullying as early as possible. “The EU should act in unison and solidarity in its relations with China,” she added