A flurry of visits by foreign officials and an invitation to the upcoming virtual democracy summit to be hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden have underscored Taiwan’s growing international profile. But the attention Taiwan is attracting is causing Beijing to increase diplomatic, economic and military pressure on its autonomous neighbor.
Ten European lawmakers from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia arrived on the island for an eight-day visit starting Sunday. “China is afraid that our mission in Taiwan will show the world that there are benefits to rejecting the so-called ‘economic partnership’ offered by the Chinese regime,” Maldas Maideikis, a Lithuanian parliamentarian who led the delegation, tweeted upon arrival in Taipei.
Taiwan and the Baltic states “share similar experiences of breaking free of authoritarian rule and fighting for freedom,” said Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen during a meeting with the visiting delegation the following day. “The democracy we enjoy today was hard earned. This is something we all understand most profoundly,” she stressed.