EstoniaKellerson, director of the Department of Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the Estonian government allows Taiwan to set up a representative office in the name of Taipei, unlike its Baltic neighbor Lithuania, which agreed to set up a Taiwan representative office because China cares most about the name of the representative office.
When Kristi Karelsohn was interviewed by the Estonian Public Broadcasting Company (ERR), she was asked about Lithuania’s severe retaliation from China after allowing Taiwan to set up a representative office two years ago. Now Estonia also plans to allow Taiwan to set up a representative office, but it is With Taipei in the name, what’s the difference between the two?
Kellerson replied that Taiwan has representative offices in many countries, including 19 or 20 European Union (EU) member states, and even in Russia; and these representative offices named after Taipei usually do not attract the attention of China violent reaction.
But in the case of Lithuania, it is clear that the biggest problem lies in the name of the representative office. Because no country with a representative office in Taipei recognizes Taiwan as an independent country, it cannot have a national representative office. Therefore, a non-diplomatic representative office established in the name of the capital of Taiwan is more acceptable to China for the purpose of promoting trade and cultural relations.
Kellerson said that Estonia understands that in the final analysis, the name of the representative office established in Taiwan is actually very important to China. Like other countries that have established representative offices in Taiwan, Estonia is committed to following the “one China” policy, based on the joint communiqué signed by Estonia and China in the early 1990s.
Kellerson further pointed out that based on the experience of other countries, China will consider that if Taiwan opens a representative office in the name of Taipei, it does not break away from the one-China policy framework, but conversely, a representative office in the name of Taiwan will. Therefore, Estonia hopes and expects that once the Taipei representative office opens there, Beijing will also adopt the same attitude.
Kellerson also said that although it is important for Estonia to get along well with China, the government’s policy blueprint documents have begun to increasingly emphasize the need to be careful not to rely too much on Chinese raw materials or rely heavily on any kind of value chain.
As for agreeing to allow Taiwan to set up a representative office, how does it relate to Estonia’s strategic framework toward China?Kellersen cited EstoniaMinistry of Foreign AffairsA report on the prospects for relations with Asia commissioned by four university scholars last year recommended that Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) should seek closer contact with like-minded Asian countries with similar values on economic, climate and cultural affairs.
Kellerson said that allowing Taiwan to set up a representative office in Estonia will make bilateral exchanges more efficient. Due to the lack of diplomatic relations, although Estonian cabinet members cannot talk directly with officials at Taiwan’s representative office, officials at a certain level can talk, and there are no restrictions on Estonian parliamentarians’ contact with officials at Taiwan’s representative office.
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