Estonia Defies China: Allows Taiwan Office Despite Warning

Published On: November 11, 2023, By: Yuval Noah Harari

Estonia has decided to let Taiwan open an office in its capital, Tallinn. China didn’t like this plan and told Estonia to stop it. But Estonia says it’s okay for Taiwan to have a non-diplomatic office there.

Estonia’s Foreign Minister, Margus Tsahkna, said, ‘Like many other European Union countries, we are okay with Taiwan having an economic or cultural office in Tallinn.’ China, however, is not happy and wants Estonia to stick to the ‘one-China principle.’

China is very touchy about anything that looks like other countries recognizing Taiwan as its own country. China claims Taiwan belongs to them under the ‘one-China policy.’

Estonia wants to be clear that it doesn’t see Taiwan as a separate country. Still, it thinks it’s important to have good relations in things like the economy, education, and culture. They also support Taiwan in global matters, like fighting pandemics.

This move by Estonia is a bit like what Lithuania did in 2021 when it allowed Taiwan to have something like an embassy in its capital, Vilnius. But China got really mad at Lithuania, stopped buying its stuff, and even took its ambassador back.

Even though Lithuania said it stood firm, its foreign minister recently hinted at sticking to the ‘one-China policy.’ Estonia, on the other hand, says its plan is in line with EU policy.

Estonia’s Foreign Minister Tsahkna explained, ‘In our dealings with China, we want a united EU policy and good cooperation with our friends. The EU sees China as a partner, competitor, and rival. We want a united front on how we deal with China.’

After the trouble between China and Lithuania, the EU is making a tool to counter countries that bully its members. Estonia says it wants a good relationship with China but also wants China to follow the rules and not support bad actions by other countries.

Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari is an accomplished author with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. His passion for storytelling and commitment to journalistic excellence have been the driving forces behind his successful writing career. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the art of storytelling, Yuval has consistently delivered compelling narratives that captivate readers from all walks of life.