Taiwan's foreign minister heads for visit to 3 Baltic nations

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has set out on a visit to the three Baltic states, in a move that could draw a sharp reaction from China.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry says Wu will visit Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania during his week-long trip beginning Monday.

Wu is due to deliver speeches at think tanks in Latvia and Estonia, and will attend a forum in Lithuania. Taiwan's Foreign Ministry says he is also expected to meet with key political figures, although it did not provide details.

The ministry says Wu's tour will underscore Taiwan's resolve to stand up against authoritarianism. This is seen as a reference to the pressure Taiwan is facing from China and the three Baltic nations from Russia.

Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have diplomatic ties with China. But they have been distancing themselves from Beijing in recent years, while building stronger ties with Taiwan.

The three Baltic nations have all pulled out of a China-led forum for economic cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries. In August, the heads of the three nations' parliamentary foreign affairs committees visited Taiwan together. The speaker of Lithuania's parliament also visited Taiwan for the first time last month.