Both countries share experience dealing with an authoritarian neighbor
KAOHSIUNG (Taiwan News) — If you had the pleasure of wandering around the Food Taipei 2021 expo which opened Wednesday (Dec. 22), you may well have happened upon the Lithuania Pavilion.
Perhaps you sampled Ruta, a Lithuanian chocolate brand more than 100 years old, or perhaps you sipped a craft beer made by Volfas Engelman, a Lithuanian brewery that started more than 170 years ago. Other delights on offer from this Baltic state included honey, jam, cereals, biscuits, and cakes.
But perhaps more important than the Lithuanian foods that are now arriving in Taiwan is the fact that this nation has a presence at the show at all. The pavilion is symbolic of the deepening friendship between Taiwan and Lithuania, two countries that share the common bond of dealing with the threat of authoritarian neighbors.
Lithuania knows all about the damage that this can cause. From the end of the Second World War until 1991, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union, controlled by dictators from Russia whose socialist policies drove this vibrant trading nation into decades of poverty and hunger.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lithuanians embraced freedom and independence, and while they have joined the EU and NATO, they remain a fiercely proud and independent nation.
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