CESNUR - Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni diretto da Massimo Introvigne

Coronavirus: An Opportunity to Rethink Relations with Taiwan - An Open Letter to the President of the Republic of Lithuania

22nd of April, 2020

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Your Excellency, President of the Republic,
We address you in the context of an unprecedented global pandemic. The ultimate consequences of the crisis for Lithuanian and global society, economy, culture, and international relations are still difficult to predict, but it is clear that they will be extremely severe.
However, humanity could have averted the dangers of COVID-19, or at least better prepared for it, had the spread of the virus not been concealed in the earliest stages from the world community by the Chinese Communist Party regime. The authorities in the People’s Republic of China have kept secret the facts of the epidemic, repressed doctors who sought to draw the attention of their colleagues and the world community to this new and threatening infection, and are still falsifying statistics on infections and deaths. Under influence from the Chinese authorities, the World Health Organization suppressed information on a new type of virus spreading in Wuhan, Hubei Province, downplaying the threat of infection, the possibility of human-to-human infection, and refusing to declare a global pandemic even after the coronavirus spread to many parts of the world. Although Taiwan’s health officials as early as the end of December of 2019 warned about the high likelihood of the human-to-human infection, the World Health Organization suppressed the report.
Thus, not only Chinese citizens, but all people of the world suffer from the lies and repressive policies of a regime in China bent on returning to totalitarianism. Moreover, China, whose opaque and dishonest behavior has led to the present depth and scale of the global coronavirus crisis, is now resolutely seeking to exploit the situation by intensifying persecution of dissidents within the country and expanding geopolitical networks of influence, wielding soft power through the supply of feigned humanitarian aid.
The country that is particularly hard hit by, and suffers most damage from, the aggressive policies of the Chinese Communist Party is Taiwan. Taiwan is constantly threatened by military force. Due to the brutal pressure from China, this democratic state of 23 million people has lost all representation in international organizations. While Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus pandemic is cited as a paragon of good practice, China is preventing Taiwan from participating in the World Health Organization, even as an observer, whereby it could share good practices and obtain timely information relevant to the pandemic.
Thanks to its unique historical experience and geopolitical situation, Lithuania should show solidarity with free, democratic societies of the world and support their resistance to the aggression of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. When Lithuania declared its restoration of independence from the Soviet Union, the first state to express official diplomatic support for Lithuania’s still fragile statehood was tiny Iceland. We believe that now, three decades after March 11, Lithuania is herself ready to demonstrate her commitment to the fundamental constitutional values ​​of freedom and democracy by expressing similar support for Taiwan.
During the long decades of the Cold War, Taiwan was one of the few countries to have consistently pursued a policy of non-recognition of the occupation of the Baltic States. Taiwan also supported initiatives of diplomatic resistance to the Soviet occupation of Lithuania. Today Taiwan is selflessly providing humanitarian aid to Lithuania in the fight against the pandemic.
Taiwan is a de facto independent state with which Lithuania and other European Union members maintain productive relations in many areas. Avoiding diplomatic recognition of Taiwan simply due to the conditions laid down by the Chinese Communist regime means that the European Union as a whole succumbs to political and economic coercion in its relations with China, essentially accepting the position of an unequal partner and harming its Member States, as well as the rest of the free world.
For its part, the development of Lithuania’s political and diplomatic relations with Taiwan is a good opportunity to strengthen cooperation with the strategic partner crucial to our security, the United States, which supports Taiwan’s membership in international organizations.
Your Excellency, in the presidential election debates you emphasized the need to expand not only economic, but also political relations with Taiwan. We are confident that you will adhere to this principled position. Therefore, we invite you to lead Lithuania’s policy in East Asia along a value-based path, expressing sincere support for Lithuania’s ally Taiwan in the following ways:
- supporting, at the highest political level, Taiwan’s involvement in the World Health Organization meetings, activities and mechanisms (including the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, or GOARN) and to support its full participation in the World Health Assembly;
- addressing the United Nations regarding Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations and its subsidiary international organizations, primarily the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO);
- initiating the opening of the Lithuanian Economic Representation in Taiwan;
- raising the Taiwan recognition issue at the European Council and in other political formats of the European Union.


  1. Dr. Mantas Adomėnas, Parliament of Lithuania
  2. Vilija Aleknaitė-Abramikienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  3. Eugenijus Ališanka, writer, translator
  4. Prof. Vytautas Ališauskas, Vilnius University
  5. Paulius Ambrazevičius, comedian, „Humoro klubas“
  6. Dr. Konstantinas Andrijauskas, Asia scholar
  7. Dr. Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  8. Mariusz Antonowicz, Vilnius University
  9. Dr. Arvydas Anušauskas, Parliament of Lithuania
  10. Aušrinė Armonaitė, Parliament of Lithuania
  11. Petras Auštrevičius, European Parliament
  12. Dr. Guoda Azguridienė, Lithuanian Free Market Institute
  13. Audronius Ažubalis, Parliament of Lithuania
  14. Dr. Viktoras Bachmetjevas, Vytautas Magnus University
  15. Juozapas Bagdonas, independent investigative journalist
  16. Elžbieta Banytė, teacher, Vilnius Abraomas Kulvietis Classical Gymnasium
  17. Dr. Darius Baronas, Lithuanian Institute of History
  18. Gintautas Bartkus, advocate
  19. Andrius Bautronis, Mayor of Raseiniai
  20. Arvidas Bendorius, blogger
  21. Žilvinas Bieliauskas, Vilnius Jewish Public Library
  22. Vladas Braziūnas, writer, translator, National Prize laureate
  23. Toma Bružaitė, social activist
  24. Prof. Alfredas Bumblauskas, Vilnius University
  25. Simas Čelutka, Vilnius University
  26. Dr. Norbertas Černiauskas, Vilnius University
  27. Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Parliament of Lithuania
  28. Irena Degutienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  29. Dr. Justinas Dementavičius, Vilnius University
  30. Regimantas Dima, writer
  31. Prof. Marija Drėmaitė, Vilnius University
  32. Girvydas Duoblys, Centre for Civic Initiatives
  33. Giedrius Dusevičius, businessman
  34. Justas Džiugelis, Parliament of Lithuania
  35. Dainius Elertas, historian
  36. Andrijana Filinaitė, cultural & heritage activist
  37. Prof. Danutė Gailienė, Vilnius University
  38. Antanas Gailius, poet, translator, National Prize laureate
  39. Dr. Bernardas Gailius, historian, author
  40. Rosita Garškaitė, „Bernardinai.lt“ internet portal
  41. Aistė Gedvilienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  42. Prof. Arūnas Gelūnas, Lithuanian National Museum of Art
  43. Eugenijus Gentvilas, Parliament of Lithuania
  44. Simonas Gentvilas, Parliament of Lithuania
  45. Paulius Gritėnas, philosopher, author
  46. Irena Haase, Parliament of Lithuania
  47. Mark Adam Harold, social activist
  48. Audronis Imbrasas, cultural impresario / Vilnius City Council
  49. Darius Indrišionis, Vilnius University
  50. Prof. Massimo Introvigne, sociologist / „Bitter Winter“ internet portal
  51. Jokūbas Jacovskis, graphic artist, illustrator
  52. Prof. Adas Jakubauskas, Union of the Lithuanian Tartar Communities
  53. Prof. Tomas Janeliūnas, Vilnius University
  54. Valdas Jankauskas, Lithuanian Children and Youth Centre
  55. Prof. Giedrė Jankevičiūtė, Lithuanian Culture Research Institute
  56. Edita Janulevičiūtė, author, East Asia expert
  57. Amb. Albinas Januška, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  58. Ksenija Jaroševaitė, skulptorė, Nacionalinės premijos laureatė
  59. Prof. Alvydas Jokubaitis, Vilnius University
  60. Liudas Jonaitis, Parliament of Lithuania
  61. Antanas Jonynas, writer, translator, National Prize laureate
  62. Laimantas Jonušys, translator, literatūros kritikas
  63. Dr. Nijolė Juchnevičienė, Vilnius University
  64. Rasa Juknevičienė, European Parliament, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  65. Prof. Vytautas Juozapaitis, Parliament of Lithuania, National Prize laureate
  66. Dr. Paulius Jurčys, lawyer
  67. Vytis Jurkonis, Vilnius University
  68. Paulius Juška, painter, Vilnius Academy of Arts
  69. Audrys Karalius, architect, social activist
  70. Dr. Gintas Karalius, Vilnius University
  71. Dr. Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Parliament of Lithuania
  72. Algis Kašėta, Mayor of Varėna
  73. Aurelijus Katkevičius, paper „Verslo žinios“
  74. Vytautas Kernagis, Parliament of Lithuania
  75. Dainius Kreivys, Parliament of Lithuania
  76. Andrius Kubilius, European Parliament
  77. Dr. Darius Kuolys, Vilnius University
  78. Andrius Kupčinskas, Parliament of Lithuania
  79. Paulė Kuzmickienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  80. Gabrielius Landsbergis, Parliament of Lithuania
  81. Vladimiras Laučius, political analyst and commentator, Eastern Europe Studies Centre  / „Delfi.lt“ internet portal
  82. Marius Laurinavičius, Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis
  83. Mečys Laurinkus, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  84. Prof. Rimvydas Laužikas, museologist
  85. Dr. Pavel Lavrinec, Vilnius University
  86. Prof. Zigmas Lydeka, Vytautas Magnus University
  87. Prof. Šarūnas Liekis, Vytautas Magnus University
  88. Prof. Raimundas Lopata, political scientist
  89. Edward Lucas, author, Center for European Policy Analysis
  90. Prof. Alvydas Lukys, Vilnius Academy of Arts
  91. Dr. Aušra Maldeikienė, European Parliament
  92. Dr. Klaudijus Maniokas, public sector consultant
  93. Eglė Markevičiūtė, lobbyist, GLIK Agency
  94. Ramūnas Markovas, CEO
  95. Dr. Mantas Martišius, communication scholar
  96. Umberto Masi, Freedom Party National Board
  97. Prof. Kęstutis Masiulis, Parliament of Lithuania
  98. Dr. Sigita Maslauskaitė-Mažylienė, painter, art historian, Church Heritage Museum / Vilnius Academy of Arts
  99. Bronislovas Matelis, Parliament of Lithuania
  100. Aleksandras Matonis, journalist
  101. Antanas Matulas, Parliament of Lithuania
  102. Prof. Daumantas Matulis, Vilnius University
  103. Prof. Gintautas Mažeikis, Vytautas Magnus University
  104. Prof. Liudas Mažylis, European Parliament
  105. Maksimas Milta, European Humanities University
  106. Dr. Alisa Miniotaitė, leadership scholar
  107. Valentinas Mitė, journalist
  108. Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  109. Dr. Sigitas Narbutas, The Wroblewski  Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
  110. Egidijus Nasevičius, blogger
  111. Dr. Andrius Navickas, Parliament of Lithuania
  112. Kęstutis Navickas, environmentalist
  113. Monika Navickienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  114. Dr. Mindaugas Nefas, historian, social activist
  115. Dr. Arvydas Nekrošius, Parliament of Lithuania
  116. Sigutis Obelevičius, Mayor of Anykščiai
  117. Jonas Ohman, social activist
  118. Dr. Juozas Olekas, European Parliament
  119. Aušra Papirtienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  120. Dr. Žygimantas Pavilionis, Parliament of Lithuania
  121. Saulius Pečeliūnas, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  122. Laurynas Peluritis, Vilnius University
  123. Rasa Petrauskienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  124. Edgaras Pilypaitis, Mayor of Šakiai
  125. Kornelijus Platelis, writer, National Prize laureate
  126. Lt. Gen. Arvydas Pocius, Ret., former Chief of Defence of Lithuania
  127. Kazimieras Preikšas, commentator
  128. Lukas Puidokas, Baltic & South-East Asian Chamber of Commerce
  129. Dr. Mindaugas Puidokas, Parliament of Lithuania
  130. Aidas Puklevičius, commentator, writer
  131. Dr. Andžej Pukšto, Vytautas Magnus University
  132. Edmundas Pupinis, Parliament of Lithuania
  133. Donatas Puslys, author, social activist
  134. Petras Pušinskas, Mayor of Skuodas
  135. Dr. Nerija Putinaitė, Vilnius University
  136. Aleksander Radczenko, commentator, lawyer
  137. Dainius Radzevičius, journalist
  138. Dr. Petras Ragauskas, jurist, advocate
  139. Dr. Eligijus Raila, Vilnius University
  140. Algis Ramanauskas, actor
  141. Rolandas Rastauskas, writer, National Prize laureate
  142. Jurgis Razma, Parliament of Lithuania
  143. Romas Sadauskas-Kvietkevičius, journalist
  144. Giedrius Sakalauskas, Res Publica Civic Resilience Centre
  145. Dr. Paulius Saudargas, Parliament of Lithuania
  146. Raimondas Savickas, artist
  147. Ričardas Savukynas, blogger
  148. Virginijus Savukynas, journalist, maker of documentary films and TV shows
  149. Valerijus Simulik, Parliament of Lithuania
  150. Dr. Gintarė Skaistė, Parliament of Lithuania
  151. Šarūnas Skyrius, businessman
  152. Andriejus Stančikas, Parliament of Lithuania
  153. Prof. Mindaugas Stankūnas, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
  154. Dr. Arūnas Starkus, journal „Vyno žurnalas“ / Wine Club
  155. Karolis Stasiukėnas, Liberal Movement political party National Board
  156. Gintaras Steponavičius, Parliament of Lithuania
  157. Zenonas Streikus, Parliament of Lithuania
  158. Prof. Paulius V. Subačius, Vilnius University
  159. Marius Sukesian, podcaster, author
  160. Dovilė Šakalienė, Parliament of Lithuania
  161. Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė, Parliament of Lithuania
  162. Rimas Šapauskas, actor
  163. Robertas Šarknickas, Parliament of Lithuania
  164. Dr. Stasys Šedbaras, Parliament of Lithuania
  165. Dr. Nerijus Šepetys, Vilnius University
  166. Prof. Rita Šerpytytė, Vilnius University
  167. Dr. Diana Šileikaitė-Kaishauri, Vilnius University
  168. Arūnas Šileris, publishing house „Vyturys“
  169. Ingrida Šimonytė, Parliament of Lithuania
  170. Justas Šireika, businessman
  171. Dr. Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Kaunas University of Technology
  172. Alvydas Šlepikas, writer
  173. Kristina Tamelytė, author, „Bernardinai.lt“ internet portal
  174. Antanas Terleckas, historian
  175. Ramūnas Terleckas, journalist, commentator
  176. Tomas Tomilinas, Parliament of Lithuania
  177. Vytenis Tomkus, Mayor of Kaišiadorys
  178. Dr. Skaidra Trilupaitytė, art critic, cultural politics scholar
  179. Viktorija Trimbel, businesswoman, social activist
  180. Skirmantas Tumelis, Vilnius City Council
  181. Rūta Tumėnaitė, cultural review „Naujasis Židinys-Aidai“
  182. Dr. Darius Udrys, Vilnius University
  183. Vladas Urbanavičius, sculptor, National Prize laureate
  184. Povilas Urbšys, Parliament of Lithuania
  185. Dr. Mikas Vaicekauskas, Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore
  186. Prof. Loreta Vaicekauskienė, Vilnius University
  187. Gintaras Vaičekauskas, Parliament of Lithuania
  188. Lukas Kornelijus Vaičiakas, President of LiJOT – Council of the Lithuanian Youth Organisations
  189. Dr. Virginijus Valentinavičius, Mykolas Romeris University
  190. Dr. Egidijus Vareikis, Parliament of Lithuania
  191. Prof. Irena Vaišvilaitė, Vilnius University
  192. Amb. Petras Vaitiekūnas, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  193. Dr. Nida Vasiliauskaitė, philosopher, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
  194. Prof. Irena Veisaitė, theatre scholar & critic, social activist
  195. Vytis Vidūnas, Tibeto namai / Vilnius University
  196. Arkadijus Vinokuras, writer, journalist, actor
  197. Rytis Zemkauskas, author, TV show host
  198. Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, Vytautas Magnus University / Azija LT
  199. Emanuelis Zingeris, Parliament of Lithuania, Signatory of the Act of Independence
  200. Agnė Žagrakalytė-Platelienė, writer
  201. Remigijus Žemaitaitis, Parliament of Lithuania
  202. Prof. Justinas Žilinskas, writer / Mykolas Romeris University
  203. Dr. Rūta Žiliukaitė, Vilnius University
  204. Vaidotas Žukas, artist