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China warns Estonia to dump plan for Taiwan office..


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China stepped up diplomatic pressure on Estonia Wednesday, warning the Baltic nation and EU member not to let Taiwan open a new office in the country.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu began his visit to the three Baltic countries on Wednesday, with Latvia his first stop. 

Estonia is also investigating whether a ship flying the Hong Kong flag was involved in recent man-made damage to undersea infrastructures between Estonia and Finland.

Beijing wasn’t happy. “China urges the Estonian side to abide by its solemn commitment to the ‘One China’ principle, refrain from allowing Taiwan to set up any official organizations and effectively safeguard the political basis of bilateral relations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in a press briefing Wednesday.

When Taiwan set up an office in fellow Baltic country Lithuania, Beijing punished Vilnius with an effective trade embargo, prompting the EU to speed up finalizing the anti-coercion instrument, a trade tool to tackle countries bullying EU members.

Estonia insisted that Taiwan’s office will be in line with EU policy.

“Just like many other European Union countries, Estonia is ready to accept the establishment of a non-diplomatic economic or cultural representation of Taipei in order to promote such relations,” Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said in a statement last week, according to Estonian media, stressing that Tallinn does not recognize Taiwan as a state.

“At the same time, we consider it important to boost relations with Taiwan in the fields of the economy, education, culture, relations between civil society organizations and other such areas,” he said. “We also support Taiwan’s participation in international affairs in areas of global interest, such as the fight against pandemics and Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization. Reinvigorating relations with Taiwan does not contradict the One China policy.”

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