VILNIUS - Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Wednesday urged Western countries not to repeat the mistakes made with Russia when dealing with China.
"For years the West said economic cooperation would persuade dictators to support the rules-based international order. But all we did was feed their economies while letting them break all the rules. China is betting that we will repeat this mistake," he tweeted.
"Unfortunately, our geopolitical blindness has not yet been cured. We chose not to see the threat of Russian aggression, and now we are choosing not to see the threat of Chinese aggression. We are on the verge of repeating the same mistake," Landsbergis said.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Beijing last week and urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to "bring Russia to its senses" over its war in Ukraine.
Landsbergis says "we are capable of defending Europe without Chinese help".
"Instead of requesting assistance we should be projecting our strengths, showing the world that Ukraine, Europe and the US are willing and able to secure the European continent. That is the only signal we should be sending," he tweeted.
Macron's statements once again sparked debate on the concept of Europe's "strategic autonomy" and greater independence from the United States. The French president said Europe should not follow the US or China's suit when it comes to Taiwan.
Landsbergis stressed the people of Taiwan must be shown that attempts to undermine the island's status quo will be responded to.
"The same strong signal has to be sent to Taiwan. We must declare that the island and its democracy-loving people are part of the rules-based order and that we will fight against any attempt to change the status quo by force, because we are willing and able to do what's right," he stated.