Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Tensions between China and Lithuania have risen since Taiwan opened a representative office in the Baltic capital last month, something Beijing considers disrespectful to Chinese sovereignty.

By Bloomberg

Lithuania’s dispute with China has escalated after local media reported that goods from some of its companies were banned from entering Chinese ports.

Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis described the move on Friday as “unannounced sanctions” and said Lithuania would seek assistance from the European Commission next week to resolve the issue. It is “unprecedented when one EU member state is partially sanctioned,” he said.

Local media reported that some of the Baltic nation’s forestry and furniture goods were being detained at ports after Lithuania was scrapped from China’s electronic customs declaration system from 1 December. Lithuania has not received any official comment on the matter from China.

The European Commission said it was in contact with Lithuania and the EU delegation in Beijing to verify the information.

“We have been informed that Lithuanian consignments are not cleared by Chinese customs and import applications are rejected,” said Nabila Massrali, a spokeswoman for the Commission.

Less than 1% of Lithuania’s exports go to China and the decision should have “no fundamental impact” on its economy, Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste said.

Tensions between China and Lithuania have risen since Taiwan opened a representative office in the Baltic capital last month, something Beijing considers disrespectful to Chinese sovereignty.

China has recalled its ambassador and downgraded ties with Lithuania to the level of charges. Lithuania says it respects the “one-China” principle.

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