Chairs of Foreign Affairs Committees of Baltic parliaments praise Taiwan's strong democracy

  • 2024-01-15
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In a joint statement on Saturday, the chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Baltic parliaments stressed that the presidential and parliamentary elections held in Taiwan on Saturday are a testament to the strength of its strong democratic system.

"We congratulate Taiwan for once again demonstrating the strength of its robust democratic system which, together with its free market economy and vibrant civil society, makes it a model for the Indo-Pacific region and a force for good in the world," the joint statement read.

The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Latvian Parliament, Rihards Kols (National Alliance), together with his Estonian and Lithuanian colleagues Marko Mihkelson and Zygimantas Pavilionis, affirm their appreciation of Taiwan's contribution to the security and reconstruction of Ukraine and its determination to ensure stability in the cross-Strait region under relentless pressure.

The statement affirms that the governance systems of the Baltic States are based on a shared commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The three countries' politicians also stressed that they are partners with shared political, economic and international values.

The AFP news agency reports that Taiwan's ruling party candidate Lai Ching-te, branded a threat to peace by China, on Saturday won the island's presidential election, a vote watched closely from Beijing to Washington.

Lai delivered an unprecedented third consecutive term for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after a raucous campaign in which he pitched himself as the defender of Taiwan's democratic way of life.

Communist China claims democratic Taiwan, separated from the mainland by a 180-kilometer (110-mile) strait, as its own and says it will not rule out using force to bring about "unification", even if conflict does not appear imminent.

Beijing has in the past slammed Lai, the current vice president, as a dangerous "separatist" and on the eve of the vote, its defense ministry vowed to "crush" any move towards Taiwanese independence.

Lai had 40.2 percent of the vote with ballots counted from 98 percent of polling stations, according to official data from Taiwan's Central Election Commission.

His main rival Hou Yu-ih of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) trailed in second place with 33.4 percent and conceded defeat.