Last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, to express support for Lithuania’s decision to “open reciprocal representative offices with Taiwan.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear President Nauseda:
I write to express my gratitude and support for your government’s recent approval of an agreement to open reciprocal representative offices with Taiwan. In particular, I appreciate your decision to allow Taiwan to call its office the “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania.” It is important to support the right of the Taiwanese, as a fellow democratic people, to determine how they would like others to refer to them and to choose the appropriate name for their foreign missions that reflects the work that they do.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does not represent Taiwan, and has no right to dictate to the rest of the world how we must refer to, or engage with, the people of Taiwan. The CCP has responded to your decision the way it always does: by using its economic might and political influence to bully and intimidate. As Lithuania has recently experienced, the CCP regularly engages in punitive diplomacy. Beijing weaponizes trade ties, investment, foreign aid, and other forms of international cooperation as tools of political coercion. Over the years, many countries, including Norway, Japan, Korea and Australia, have been the targets of the CCP’s coercive tactics. It is one of the many reasons that China, under the leadership of the CCP, has failed to develop into a responsible member of the international community.
I trust that Lithuania, a resolute champion of democracy, will stand strong. Lithuania understands the costs of communism based on its own experience of the darkness it brought to your nation and its people. Three decades ago, the people of Lithuania impressed the world by being the first occupied Soviet Republic to declare the restoration of its independence from the Soviet Union. Lithuanians were at the forefront of anti-Soviet dissident movements, such as the Helsinki Group, which reported to the world the Soviet Union systemic human rights abuses. We will never forget when Saj?dis led approximately two million people to join hands in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in August 1989 to form a 373-mile human chain known as the Baltic Chain of Freedom.
Just last month, Lithuania demonstrated incredible leadership in standing against efforts to aid the dictatorship in Havana. The Lithuanian Parliament’s rejection of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Cuba showed once again that Lithuania, like the United States, understands the human cost of communism.
Thank you again for your leadership. I look forward to our countries continuing to work together, along with our Taiwanese partners, to promote human rights and democracy at home and abroad.