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World Taiwan sets up $200m Lithuania fund amid China row

11:20  06 january  2022
11:20  06 january  2022 Source:   bbc.com

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Taiwan has said it will set up a $ 200 m (£148m) fund to invest in Lithuania as it tries to fend off Chinese diplomatic and trade pressure on the Baltic state. Taipei said it aims to make its first investment later this year and the money is guaranteed by its national development fund and central State-run media said Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation purchased the rum after learning that it could be blocked from entering China . China has denied blocking trade from Lithuania - which would breach global trading rules - but the European Union has said it has verified reports of goods being

Taiwan said Wednesday it would set up a fund with $ 200 million (176 million euros) to invest in Lithuania , as businesses there complain of losses from a China - Lithuania row . Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius in November under its own name — a significant diplomatic departure that set off a bitter dispute with China . “ Taiwan is setting up an investment fund with an initial funding of 200 million US dollars to invest in Lithuanian industries which are strategic for both Lithuania and Taiwan ,” said Eric Huang, the head of the Taiwanese representative office in

Taiwan has said it will set up a $200m (£148m) fund to invest in Lithuania as it tries to fend off Chinese diplomatic and trade pressure on the Baltic state.

  Taiwan sets up $200m Lithuania fund amid China row © Reuters

Taipei said it aims to make its first investment later this year and the money is guaranteed by its national development fund and central bank.

It comes after Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy there, a potential sign of growing ties.

China downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania days later.

Announcing the plan, Taiwan's deputy minister for foreign affairs Harry Ho-jen Tseng told Lithuania: "It's time for us to help with your difficulties."

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Taiwan said on Wednesday it would create a $ 200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade as it tries to fend off diplomatic pressure on the Baltic state from China . China has recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and downgraded diplomatic ties, and is pressuring companies like German car parts giant Continental to stop using Lithuanian -made components. It has also blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China . U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred to China ’s pressure on Vilnius in a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock after

Taiwan said Wednesday it would set up a fund with $ 200 million (176 million euros) to invest in Lithuania , as businesses there complain of losses from a China - Lithuania row . Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius in November under its own name -- a significant diplomatic departure that set off a bitter dispute with China . " Taiwan is setting up an investment fund with an initial funding of 200 million US dollars to invest in Lithuanian industries which are strategic for both Lithuania and Taiwan ," said Eric Huang

The announcement comes as Taiwan is sharing tips with the public on how to drink and cook with rum after it bought 20,000 bottles of Lithuanian rum bound for China.

State-run media said Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation purchased the rum after learning that it could be blocked from entering China.

China has denied blocking trade from Lithuania - which would breach global trading rules - but the European Union has said it has verified reports of goods being held up at Chinese customs.

The issue with rum imports is the latest example reported to have affected Lithuanian businesses, although China accounts for just 1% of Lithuania's exports.

Beijing has a history of imposing unofficial trade sanctions on countries with which it has disputes. Currently it also has boycotts on around a dozen Australian goods, including beef, wine and barley.

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Taiwan said on Wednesday it will create a $ 200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade as it tries to fend off diplomatic pressure on the Baltic state from China . Lithuania is under pressure from the China here to reverse its decision last year to allow democratically-ruled Taiwan to open a representative office - a de facto embassy - in Vilnius under its own name. Beijing claims Taiwan as its territory, ineligible for diplomatic ties of its own with other countries.

" Taiwan is setting up an investment fund with an initial funding of 200 million US dollars to invest in Lithuanian industries which are strategic for both Lithuania and Taiwan ," said Eric Huang, the head of the Taiwanese representative office in Lithuania . He said the investment was part of Taiwan 's plan to Huang said the fund would invest in semiconductor, laser, biotechnology and similar Lithuanian industries, with the first investments expected this year. The Baltic EU state defied pressure from Beijing and allowed Taipei to open a de facto embassy. That prompted retaliation, Lithuanian business

  • What's behind the China-Taiwan divide?
  • What is the 'One China' policy?

In November, China downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania, after the Baltic state allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy there.

The new office bears the name Taiwan rather than "Chinese Taipei", the name used in many other nations to avoid offending China.

Taiwan's new office in Lithuania does not equate to official diplomatic relations but could be seen as a sign of growing ties between them.

It was the island's first new diplomatic outpost in Europe for 18 years. Taiwan has few allies with which it has formal ties, due to China's pressure.

Lithuania defended its right to have ties with Taiwan, but said it respected the "One China" policy.

The One China policy is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China's position that there is only one Chinese government.

While Taiwan is a self-governed democratic state, Beijing sees it as part of its territory. In the last year, it has stepped up pressure to isolate the island from its international allies.

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