Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Review Nov 16, 2022

The US-Taiwan-Lithuania Triangle: Partners with a Common Vision for Security

  • During 2021-22, Washington, Taipei, and Vilnius formed a new geopolitical triangle. The three capitals are bound by a common understanding that the People’s Republic of China is becoming an aggressive challenger of the democratic world and international security. In the wake of China’s pressure, more bold and sound political supportfor Taiwan came from Washington and Vilnius. In November 2021, Lithuania’s government agreed to establish a Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius; in August 2022, Nancy Pelosi, the US Speaker of the House, made a bold visit to Taiwan despite all the threatening rhetoric from the People’s Republic of China. Both actions provoked an aggressive response from China, but this only strengthened mutual support among all three democratic partners.
  • This publication reviews the changing geopolitical reality and the strengthening of political and security cooperation between the US, Taiwan, and Lithuania.
  • The first part explains the drivers of increased US support for Taiwan, especially the role of military assistance to Taipei and the need to expand the network of likely-minded partners willing to resist Chi- na’s influence. The second part analyses Lithuania’s political decision to enhance the partnership with Taiwan and its consequences.
  • These two parts, prepared by the researchers from the Global Taiwan Institute (Washington, DC) and the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (Vilnius), create a better understanding of why the US and Lithuania make political support of Taiwan’s security and independence a foreign policy priority.

Photo: Janis Laizans/ Reuters/ Scanpix

Marshall Reid is a program manager at the Global Taiwan Institute, a Taiwan-focused think tank in Washington, DC.

Tomas Janeliūnas has been a professor at the Vilnius Institute of International Relations and Political Science (TSPMI) since 2015. He defended his doctorate in the social sciences at Vilnius University in 2006.

Between 2013 and 2018, he led the TSPMI International Relations Cathedral. Between 2009 and 2020, he was the Editor in Chief for the magazine Politologija. Between 2007 and 2017, he edited the releases of the Lithuanian Foreign Policy Review. Between 2010 and 2019, he was the politics editor and analyst for the magazine IQ.

T. Janeliūnas is an expert for the National Security and Defence Committee (drafting the Lithuanian National Security Strategy review), in 2016 and 2020, he was an expert for the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in drafting positions for the Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy (REX/458-EESC-2016) and Towards a New European Neighbourhood Policy (REX/447-EESC-2015).

Associate Expert of RESC China Research Program, PhD student at VU Institute of International Relations and Political Science. Raigirdas holds a bachelor’s degree in Asian and Pacific Studies (Chinese Studies) from Lancashire Central University (UK). After studying, he went to China, where he spent five years studying and working. Raigirdas completed a year-long intensive Chinese language and culture course at the Sichuan University (Confucius Institute Scholarship). In 2020, he graduated from Sichuan University (China) with a Master’s degree in International Relations in Chinese. Raigirdas interests: sinology, Chinese foreign and domestic policy, history of the PRC, relations and conflicts between East Asian countries.