Taiwanese embassy in Vilnius: Lithuania China puts EU in jeopardy

As of: 01/22/2022 3:03 pm

Due to Taiwan policy, Lithuania was removed from China’s trade register. As German companies become entangled in the supply chain, another EU country wants to follow suit.

By Eva Lamby-Schmitt, ARD-Studio Shanghai

This is clear to the Chinese side: the red line has been crossed. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated this week: “The Lithuanian side has been adamant that a Taiwanese representative office should be established in Lithuania, blatantly misrepresenting itself as ‘Taiwan’ and ‘China’.” This is a China, a Taiwan. ” It is a serious violation of China’s policy, “he said. It is irresponsible and very dangerous: “The EU must be very vigilant. We believe that the EU can distinguish between right and wrong.”

While China officially declares in the same breath that it does not want to subject other countries to political or economic pressure under any circumstances, this is exactly what is happening: China has removed Lithuania from the official customs database. Are in everything. That is: China will no longer allow goods from Lithuania into the country, container vessels will be shut down. This has implications for trade relations between China and Lithuania.

“Supply chains are in question”

German and French companies such as Continental and Hella, German auto parts suppliers that manufacture parts in Lithuania, are caught between the fronts. According to his own statement, Jork Woodke, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, has never seen such drastic action by China – growth is worrying. “Of course, we as businessmen have suddenly become politicized,” he says. “Distribution chains are in question and Lithuanian products have recently disappeared from customs. Of course Brussels and the capitals of the member states must be integrated at the same time.” “Interference in the internal affairs of the European Union” cannot be tolerated.

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But Woodke also criticized Lithuania’s unilateral attempt to open a representative office officially named after Taiwan. There is no need to provoke Beijing with this, especially since the European Union does not recognize Taiwan diplomatically and generally names Taiwan’s representations after Taiwan’s capital, Taipei.

Taiwan pledges support to Lithuania

In response to the economic boycott, the EU is now gathering evidence of action in the World Trade Organization. However, such a process can take many years.

Taiwan, meanwhile, has provided support to companies in Lithuania. It should reduce stress. The United States has on several occasions pledged its support to Lithuania and the European Union.

The EU is now under pressure to position itself – again between the chairs of the rivalry between China and the United States. “This is a particular dilemma created there,” explains Doris Fischer, professor of Chinese business and economics at the University of W வrzburg. “In case of doubt – the Peking also knows that Lithuania has taken an action, but of course we do not have a common foreign policy in many areas. As far as I know, a country has no obligation. A test of policy. “

Slovenia wants to follow Lithuania

This week, another EU member state announced plans to strengthen its ties with Taiwan: Slovenia. Annoyingly, Beijing researcher Long Jing, of the Center for European Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, explains: “What Lithuania did has prompted other countries, such as Slovenia, to do the same.”

The Chinese government is therefore forced to take a firm stand against this, so that “many countries in Europe should not come up with the same idea”.

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