Lithuania opens its representative office in Taiwan. What does China say?

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Taipei (photo: Timo Volz / Pexels) Lithuania decided to tighten economic cooperation with Taiwan after the Chinese representative office was opened in Vilnius last year and the Lithuanian mission in Taipei was announced. Of course, these actions met with the immediate contract of communist China, which did not recognize Taiwan as a separate state, but only as its rebellious province, which would sooner or later return to its motherland. The People’s Republic of China, in response to a courageous move by Lithuania, recalled its ambassador to Vilnius and demanded that the Lithuanian ambassador leave Beijing. An additional Chinese bogeyman were the sanctions imposed by the Middle Kingdom on Lithuanian goods, and even on products with components made in Lithuania. Lithuania, however, did not get scared, its economists counted the profits and losses and opted for economic cooperation with Taiwan. The planned visit of the chairman of the Lithuanian Seym has just been commented on the website of the Ministry of Economy: “The trade representation in Taipei will help to develop Lithuania’s economic representation in the Southeast Asia region and will accelerate the implementation of joint projects with Taiwan.” Lithuanians emphasized that: “Taiwan is included in the [grupy] priority markets of Lithuania in the field of innovation cooperation, export and foreign direct investment ”. According to data from the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy, only in the first half of this year. exports of Lithuanian goods and services to Taiwan increased by 30 percent. and reached the value of EUR 11.5 million. Trade in the first half of the year between the two countries amounted to EUR 90.6 million, which means an increase of 92%. compared to the same period in 2021. The PRC, in reaction to the recent visit to Taiwan of the Lithuanian deputy minister of transport, announced that it would break all cooperation with Lithuania in the field of transport. In response, Vilnius indicated that the Lithuanian state has the right to choose economic partners, both domestic and foreign. In an official announcement, the office of the Lithuanian president, Gitanas Nauseda, emphasized that “Lithuania respects its international obligations and the policy of one China”, but also has the right to “develop economic relations with other countries and regions of the world.” Communist China has stepped up efforts to isolate Taiwan diplomatically in recent years. Only 15 countries have formal diplomatic ties with Taipei, but many have trade offices on the island that act as de facto embassies. Vilnius did not remain passive in the dispute with China. Lithuania urges the heads of parliaments of other European Union countries to visit Taiwan together. What will be China’s response? Judging by their reaction to the recent visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, we can expect – at least – further muscle tone. (Putin immediately took advantage of this situation by declaring that Pelosi’s visit was an American provocation. Beijing liked such a reaction very much). The “chip war” is also taking place in the background – Taiwan is very important to both China and the US due to the semiconductor industry. The Taiwanese company TSMC is a microprocessor giant on which China, the US and the European Union depend. No wonder then that Vilnius is also counting on Taiwanese investments and know-how in this field.

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