China’s use of trade as a weapons diplomatic dispute appears to be now targeted at Lithuania. After the Baltic nation agreed to exchange diplomatic offices with Taiwan, Beijing’s official halts their limited trade with Lithuania. It is seen as more of a sending warning to the rest of Europe.
The two nations, Lithuania and Taiwan have agreed to establish mutual representative offices as a sign of deepening their ties. In an aggressive response, Beijing recalled its ambassador from Vilnius and expelled Lithuania from Beijing. According to the Taiwan Foreign Affairs Ministry, it has suspended rail freight to Lithuania and reportedly halted export permits for the country’s producers which included agriculture, animal husbandry, and timber industry.
The food and veterinary service director of Lithuania Mantas Staskevicius said in an interview that the discussions with China about the export permit for some items had been getting more difficult since the beginning of the year. However, they had now just stopped the audit and certification process without explaining the act.
China’s ruling party had never governed Taiwan but they consider it to be a province of China and Beijing accuses the government of the separation.