VILNIUS – Democracies must stand united in turbulent times and emphasize the importance of freedom, You Si-kun, speaker of Taiwan's parliament, has told BNS.
"During non-ordinary times, we have to promote the values of freedom and democracy and human rights," Si-kun said in an interview with BNS during his visit to Vilnius last week.
"During non-ordinary times, democratic countries have to support each other to promote the values, besides the economy and trade collaboration," he added.
In Vilnius, You Si-kun met with Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, speaker of the Lithuanian parliament, and other MPs.
– SOME LITHUANIAN POLITICIANS AND BUSINESSES CRITICIZED THE OPENING OF THE TAIWANESE REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE AND THE IMPROVEMENT OF BILATERAL RELATIONS WITH TAIWAN, BECAUSE, ACCORDING TO THEM, THIS CAUSES CONFRONTATION BETWEEN LITHUANIA AND CHINA AND IS DAMAGING THE RELATIONS. WOULD YOU SAY THE OPENING OF THE OFFICE AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE RELATIONS WAS WORTH IT FOR BOTH LITHUANIA AND TAIWAN?
– First of all, I want to thank Lithuania's government, which last year, on July 20, made an announcement to establish a representative office in Vilnius, even though it was facing the Chinese coalition that creates a lot of different majors to try to stop the agreement. Lithuania's government held their ground to allow Taiwan's government to establish the representative office in Vilnius. Later on, China even recalled the ambassador to Lithuania and also requested Lithuania to recall your ambassador to China.
Taiwan really appreciate what Lithuania's government have done for us, and your insistence on defending the values of democracy, human rights and freedom also touched the Taiwanese people's hearts. Of course, the economy and trade interest is important to every country, but (...) defending the values of human rights, democracy and freedom is more important.
– AS TO DEFENDING DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRATIC VALUES IN THE LIGHT OF CHINA'S PRESSURE ON LITHUANIA AND CHINA'S INCREASING AGGRESSION TOWARDS TAIWAN, HOW CAN LITHUANIA AND TAIWAN HELP EACH OTHER IN COUNTERING THE PRESSURE THAT COMES FROM CHINA?
– (...) During non-ordinary times, we have to promote the values of freedom and democracy and human rights. For example, when Russia's invasion of Ukraine started, a lot of countries helped Ukraine to defend their freedom and democracy. Taiwan also provides a lot of assistance to Ukraine, which means that during non-ordinary times, democratic countries have to support each other to promote the values, besides the economy and trade collaboration.
(...) last October, Taiwan sent a delegation to visit Lithuania and sign six MOUs. So far, some tangible result has come out and some still are in the process, and we are looking forward to more results and more projects between the two countries.
Through collaboration with Lithuania, Taiwan's companies can sell a lot of products to the EU, and also Lithuania can sell products to Taiwan and even expand its market in the Asia-Pacific region. So when we are talking about the defense of the values of freedom and democracy, we also have to build a very strong collaboration between cultural exchange, technology collaboration and the economy and trade.
– WHY DIDN'T YOU MEET WITH THE LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT, THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER?
– The president of the parliament only focuses on parliamentary exchange. For example, during our previous visit to Prague, we also meet with the president of the Senate and the speaker of the parliament in Prague.
– THE REASON I AM ASKING THIS QUESTION IS THAT SOME EXPERTS IN LITHUANIA SAID THAT THE PRESIDENT, THE PRIME MINSTER AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER DID NOT MEET WITH THE PARLIAMENT SPEAKER BECAUSE THEY DO NOT WANT TO ANGER CHINA.
– Again, because my trip is only focused on parliamentary exchange, and I can say jokingly that if I can meet with your president, prime minister or even the minister of foreign affairs this time, then (...) there is no reason for our president, the prime minister and even the foreign minister to come to Vilnius.
– THERE WAS A MENTION LAST NOVEMBER THAT TAIWAN'S PRESIDENT WANTS TO VISIT THE BRAVE COUNTRY OF LITHUANIA. DO YOU KNOW IF AND WHEN THE PRESIDENT OF TAIWAN WILL VISIT LITHUANIA?
– I am so sorry I cannot answer that. Because I want to reserve this great opportunity for our madam President.
– THERE WERE SOME REPORTS IN THE MEDIA THAT NANCY PELOSI IS PLANNING TO VISIT TAIWAN NEXT MONTH AND CHINA'S FOREIGN MINISTRY RELEASED A STATEMENT THAT RESOLUTE AND STRONG MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN IF THE VISIT HAPPENS. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SAID ON WEDNESDAY THAT THE MILITARY THINKS THAT IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA RIGHT NOW FOR NANCY PELOSI TO VISIT TAIWAN. HOW WOULD YOU EVALUATE THIS SITUATION?
– I am so sorry I do not have any comments. Because the speaker did not receive any notification that the speaker of the US House of Representatives is going to Taiwan.
– GOING BACK TO RUSSIA'S WAR IN UKRAINE, DO YOU THINK THAT FEARS OF CHINA'S POSSIBLE ATTACK ON TAIWAN INCREASED AFTER PUTIN INVADED UKRAINE?
– There is a danger, a real, real danger. The US, Japan and Australia are watchful; they are monitoring the situation right now.
– THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW.