Lithuania is in the spotlight due to tensions with China: the situation is very serious

Lithuania is in the spotlight due to tensions with China: the situation is very serious
Lithuania is in the spotlight due to tensions with China: the situation is very serious

Mr Blinken spoke to French, German and UK diplomats on Wednesday, according to a US State Department press release.

“They emphasized solidarity with Lithuania in the face of growing political pressure and economic coercion in the People’s Republic of China, and rejected such practices,” the press release said.

Discussions also continued on further action to discourage any further Russian aggression against Ukraine, and it was agreed that such action would have huge consequences and cost Russia a lot. They reiterated their support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Other foreign issues were discussed during the conversation, concerns about the development of affairs with Iran’s nuclear program were shared, and Libya’s efforts to hold national elections were discussed.

The question is whether the political will will defeat the money

A. Azubalis, a member of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs and former foreign minister, noted that the US secretary of state had talked with those countries in which China has invested the most financially.

“It simply came to our notice then. China has invested about 300 billion in there. USD. I am not talking about the assets acquired in the European Union, joint ventures, mergers and other things, ”said A. Ažubalis.

According to the politician, the fact that they have expressed solidarity with Lithuania due to the economic and political pressure it is experiencing from China is a good thing.

“It simply came to our notice then. Suppose Volkswagen will allow the German government to show solidarity with Lithuania? Va here is the question. Voxwagen exports somewhere around 40 percent. its production to China. There are his factories there.

I can only speculate that the influential industrialists who spoke clearly about Nord Stream2 were probably very influential in Angela Merkel’s approach to this Russian project. We are faced with the question whether politicians and political will will win the money? ”A. Ažubalis commented.

There is a difficult road ahead in Europe

The experienced politician emphasized that there was still a lot of work to be done in terms of European solidarity.

“Because if we look at the former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, where? Where is the Austrian Foreign Minister? Those people are out of nowhere, they are representatives of certain political organizations, they represent certain economic groups in Europe itself. Everything is intertwined. And we all pay for opportunistic politics – not only Lithuania, but all those who think that the goal of politicians is to make the world fairer, ”commented A. Ažubalis.

According to politico.eu, Fillon became a member of the board of the Russian oil company Sibur in December this year, and at the end of June the Russian government appointed him to the board of the state oil company Zaroubneft.

Former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has been appointed to Rossneft’s board in June.

There is no way back

The member of parliament is convinced that succumbing to Chinese pressure and renaming the Taiwanese representation in Taipei as they wish is certainly not the answer.

“In this case, we lose our allies who support us in the world, and at the same time we become completely dependent on China. Because, is there a guarantee that China will not demand anything else once we have made the decision it wants? Or maybe it will require a second, third, fourth thing. And what, then, will we say, “we are back to the previous position”? I think that in this case, returning to where we were already is quite risky, ”said A. Ažubalis.

The politician takes the current situation seriously, and even raises the idea that the State Defense Council (VGT) could be convened in Lithuania as a result.

“It simply came to our notice then. I probably think that this situation, which is Lithuania’s international situation and relations with China, is worth discussing in VGT. I think that such a VGT should be convened, but, of course, it should be convened without much advertising, ”said A. Ažubalis.

Relationships are frozen

Tensions between Vilnius and Beijing erupted back in May, when Lithuania withdrew from the 17 + 1 format, which unites China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The Lithuanian representation in China will temporarily work remotely, Audra čiapienė, the embassy’s temporary trustee, is being recalled for consultations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in mid-December.

According to the ministry, discussions are currently underway on the technical circumstances of the Lithuanian mission in China and the Chinese mission in Lithuania, pending a decision by China to extend the accreditation of Lithuanian diplomats in China.

In the absence of a deputy diplomat in Beijing, the embassy is temporarily continuing its work remotely.

As before, consular services will be provided remotely to Lithuanian citizens in China to a limited extent.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Lithuania is ready to continue discussions with China and to restore the work of the embassy in full once a mutually acceptable agreement is reached.

China has recently protested about Lithuania’s developing relations with Taiwan and the opening of a representative office on the island in Vilnius.

Following the deterioration of relations between the two countries, China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania in August and demanded that Vilnius do the same. Ambassador Diana Mickevičienė returned to Vilnius for consultations in early September.

In November, China, in response to the opening of a Taiwanese mission in Vilnius, lowered the level of diplomatic representation with Lithuania – diplomatic missions in Vilnius and Beijing were headed by lower-ranking diplomats – commissioners rather than ambassadors.

At the beginning of December, Lithuanian business reported unsuccessful attempts to clear its goods in China, as Lithuania was removed from the Chinese customs system, which hampered the export of Lithuanian goods to China.

Although Lithuania was likely to be deliberately removed from the systems later, China’s economic pressure did not end – Beijing told international companies to cut off ties with Lithuania in early December, otherwise they would be threatened with removal from the Chinese market.

 
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