Sunday. 02.10.2022
TRADE

China steps up trade conflict with Lithuania over Taiwan

Beijing considers Taiwan part of the People's Republic of China rather than an independent state and seeks to isolate it internationally
08 July 2021, Lithuania, Siauliai: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (R) and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, talk during a visit to the Spanish troops on a NATO mission at the Siauliai base. Photo: Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo/EUROPA PRESS/dpa
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (R) and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, talk during a visit to the Spanish troops on a NATO mission at the Siauliai base. Photo: Fernando Calvo/dpa.

Beijing has stepped up a trade conflict with Lithuania over the Baltic state's upgrading of its relations with Taiwan.

Chinese customs stopped imports of beef, dairy products and alcohol from the EU member state, Beijing officials and media reports said Friday.

The escalation comes after the European Union launched a case against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) two weeks ago in connection with trade restrictions Beijing has already imposed on Lithuania.

Chinese customs gave no reason for the beef import ban. However, the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post cited a letter from customs that said Lithuanian authorities had provided insufficient information on beef and dairy products.

It also said complaints were received about expiry dates for Lithuanian beer. Lithuanian exporters had previously reported being removed from China's customs system and unable to fulfil deliveries.

Taiwan decried what it termed Chinese "bullying." Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou described Beijing's economic sanctions on the Baltic state as "despicable" and a "disruption of the global rules-based economic and trade order."

'One-China principle'

But China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said "what Lithuania should do is to face up to the facts, correct its own mistakes and come back to the right track of adhering to the one-China principle, rather than confusing right and wrong and slandering China."

China was irked by Lithuania upgrading its ties with Taiwan and allowing the democratic island to open a representative office under its own name in the Baltic state's capital Vilnius.

Beijing already downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania in November, withdrew its ambassador and has been represented by only one chargé d'affaires since then.

Beijing considers Taiwan part of the People's Republic of China rather than an independent state and seeks to isolate it internationally.

China steps up trade conflict with Lithuania over Taiwan
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