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Taiwan Foreign Minister concludes trip to the Baltic states

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Taiwan Foreign Minister concludes trip to the Baltic states

Taiwan Baltic States

Taiwanese foreign minister Joseph Wu concludes a week-long tour of the Baltic states today.

Ahead of the trip—where he met lawmakers and gave speeches at think tanks—Estonia approved a non-diplomatic “representative office” for Taiwan to be set up in its capital, Tallinn. All the Baltic states adhere to the “One China Policy” and do not officially recognize Taiwan. However, Sino-Lithuanian relations nosedived in recent years after Taiwan opened a similar office to Estonia’s in its capital Vilnius.

Estonia’s office—aimed at improving “economic and cultural” ties between the countries—will strengthen its relationship with Taiwan. Offices like these are the normal way Taiwan maintains bilateral ties with most of the world but, as Lithuania found out, any semblance towards Taiwanese statehood—like the use of the name “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei”—will incur Beijing’s wrath.

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Estonia is unlikely to follow Lithuania’s ”Taiwan” lead. Indeed, the announcement’s reference to “Taipei” indicated as much. However, it is unlikely that Beijing repeating Lithuania-style sanctions would dissuade Estonia because the EU’s new anti-coercive instrument will likely block the effect of such indirect sanctions. Furthermore, it would likely encourage Baltic states to diversify trade away from China—a process that was already underway before China’s outrage at Lithuania.

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