Amid WTO pleas and import bans, EU and China talk about Lithuania

And still disagreement between Vilnius and Beijing on the issue of Taiwan. Brussels will try to find a solution during the meeting with Xi scheduled for April but in the meantime, the Baltic state is gathering important support

When EU heads of state and government and Chinese authorities gather for a virtual summit on April 1, the standoff over Lithuania will be high on the agenda. The other central topic will be the global investment agreement, which was agreed in December 2020 but has been frozen after protests by the European Parliament and sanctions imposed by Beijing on some of its members in response to restrictions imposed by Brussels on some officials in the region. Xinjiang is implicated in the mass internment of Uyghurs.

as revealed PoliticianEuropean Union leaders are represented by the Presidents of the Commission and the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen And Charles Michel. From the Chinese side, the Chinese president will participate Xi Jinping He is the prime minister Li Keqiangwhich can be found in one of the recent international events, given that there are rumors about the possibility of him leaving the scene when in the fall there will be the replacement of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

As for the EU, Beijing has imposed “coercive measures” against Lithuania, after opening a Taiwanese trading office in Vilnius. Meanwhile, it has accelerated preparations for an anti-coercion instrument that would allow retaliatory measures to be imposed in cases such as those facing Lithuania, reported the case to the World Trade Organization, and secured the support of Australia, Canada and the United States. Kingdom and the United States.

Support means two things. First, Washington’s efforts to get allies to defend Vilnius are paying off. Second: This support represents an important political umbrella for Lithuania that can avoid the embarrassment of taking steps back on opening dialogue with Taiwan (which it did in any case in compliance with the one-China policy, as long as it repeated Lithuanian diplomacy).

China has always rejected any accusation of economic coercion, calling the allegations “baseless” and “serious distortions of facts.” The contradictions between Vilnius and Beijing are of a political nature and have nothing to do with economics. “It was created by Lithuania, which acted in bad faith and harmed Beijing’s interests,” said a foreign ministry spokesman in Beijing. Zhao LijianShe called on Brussels to view with suspicion Lithuania’s attempts to “hold China-EU relations hostage”.

It is unfortunate that as of Wednesday, February 9, China stopped importing beef from Lithuania, intensifying trade repression against the Baltic state due to its support for Taiwan, which Beijing considers a “separatist province”. The General Administration of China Customs did not provide any official reasons for the suspension, which usually occurs for food safety reasons. This is not the case in Lithuania, which recently reported no infections among its livestock to the World Animal Health Organization. Imports of dairy products and beer from Lithuania were also banned.

The Lithuanian prime minister made it clear that Beijing’s decision would not cause any problems as Lithuanian companies had already stopped exporting to the Asian country, and found new markets. Ingrida Simonetto Speaking to reporters during his visit to Ukraine. “The exporters have already turned their attention to other markets,” he added.

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