US News The EU supports Lithuania in the conflict which opposes it to China for Taiwan

23:05  14 january  2022
23:05  14 january  2022 Source:   fr.euronews.com

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The diplomatic rapprochement between the Baltic country and the archipelago provoked the anger of Beijing which responded by commercial restrictions. View on Euronews

  L’UE soutient la Lituanie dans le conflit qui l’oppose à la Chine concernant Taïwan © Mark Schiefelbein / The Associated Press

The EU supports Lithuania facing China. The 27 defend their partner, a member of the European club, engaged in an political and commercial battle with Beijing about Taiwan. The support of Vilnius towards Taipei has provoked the anger of the Chinese authorities.

This formal announcement came from the leader of the European diplomacy after an meeting of the 27 Foreign Ministers in Brest. Josep Borrell ensures that there is "obvious solidarity" with Lithuania in this conflict.

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Diplomatic quarrel between China and Lithuania: Taiwan in the heart of the problem

"Some things (with China) are going well, others less well," says the Spanish manager. "At the meeting, we talked about Chinese activities in Lithuania and the impact of these activities for the EU as a whole. Member States have clearly expressed their solidarity with Lithuania and we discussed how we Can actively pursue the de-escalation of this crisis, "continued Josep Borrell.

The Bureau of Anger

Lithuania authorized November the opening to Vilnius of a Taiwanese representation office , in other words a kind of embassy. This is the first delegation of this kind in Europe. For China it is an unacceptable gesture. According to Beijing it is a "clear violation" of China United policy.

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But the dispute covered for some time now. Everything started after the start last May of Lithuania of the group says: 17 + 1. This is the format preferred by China to negotiate directly with Eastern EU countries.

In response and without warning, Beijing then decided to restrict the entry of Lithuanian goods on its territory. These reprisals explain the strengthening of relations between the Baltic and Taiwan country, resulting in commercial tensions with the environmental empire. Reverse Lithuania?

It is in this atmosphere of tension that Vilnius said in December that it would not send

any diplomatic representative at the Olympic Winter Games in China. However, the Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Ministry refuses to use the word Boycott. The political consensus seems to be made in Lithuania. The President, Gitanas Nauceda, estimated at the beginning of the month that it was an "error" to leave Taiwan open a representation office under his own name. The Taiwanese authorities should have been using the expression "Chinese Taipei"

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, the name used by Taiwan in international bodies, so as not to provoke Beijing's anger who claims his rights the island located at the China Sea.

Lithuania in the EU to claim the Diplomatic Boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing

These recent political positions perhaps emphasize a form of reversal from Vilnius. China also uses all its economic weight to pressure European companies so that they do not use components manufactured in Lithuania. A recent survey conducted by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reveals that only 13% of the population supports the government's current position on China.

A test for the EU

unit If Vilnius today tries to mitigate the shock, the words held by Josep Borrell on Friday are good news for Lithuania. The country seeks to move its conflict with Beijing on a European scale, considering that

the impact affects the whole single market

. The government should also feel encouraged by the recent words of the French President. Emmanuel Macron is worried about how China acts with Lithuania.

Taiwan also supports Vilnius in the form of a $ 1 billion fund to help country businesses in this confrontation with China. In addition, Taipei intends to invest $ 200 million in Lithuania, particularly in the microprocessor sector, an area in which the EU wants to become a global player.

This dispute with China is a real

test for the Member States

. The way it evolves could define the tone of future relations between the EU and Beijing.

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