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China's misunderstanding of Lithuania allows Taipei to develop closer relations with Vilnius

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Beijing | January 23, 2022 5:50:45 PM IST
China has erred in its understanding of Lithuania as the country's actions have further deepened Vilnius relations with Taipei.

Last year, China entered into a spat with Lithuania over Vilnius allowing Taipei to open a de facto embassy using the name "Taiwan." Beijing recalled its ambassadors from Lithuania and downgraded its diplomatic ties with the Baltic state to the "charge d'affaires" level, according to Taipei Times.

Further, China's move enabled Lithuania on a plate to Taiwan. Also, China used its economic leverage as punishment.

First, it tried to pressure German industry giant Continental AG to stop using Lithuanian-made components. When a European Union (EU) trade commissioner said that Chinese customs were refusing to clear goods containing Lithuanian parts, China denied it was at fault, but it was too late; it had crossed the EU's red line in adopting unfair trade measures, as reported by Taipei Times.

China, which has been using its economic clout to bully others, underestimated Lithuania. What started as a diplomatic dispute evolved into an issue that concerns "safeguarding the European single market from attack."

France, which has assumed the EU presidency, was keen to deploy anti-coercion trade measures. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Annalena Baerbock said that the EU would stand in solidarity against China's threats, while the US has voiced its support for Vilnius.

China then tried to stir up antagonistic sentiment between Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte. The president had expressed his annoyance that he was not consulted on the name for the Taiwanese representative office, as reported by according to Taipei Times.

The European Union the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization nations' backing of Lithuania is not just about defending an ally, it is about teaching China a lesson, as reported by Taipei Times.

The European Parliament is to continue supporting Taiwan by voting on two foreign policy reviews next month. The Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defence Policy are said to include pro-Taiwan recommendations and are expected to pass, according to Taipei Times. (ANI)

 
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