The European Union’s largest China hawk isn’t backing down.
As Lithuania prepares to host the NATO leaders’ summit in lower than per week, a new authorities strategy on the Indo-Pacific area revealed on Wednesday reinforces the Baltic nation’s determination to construct sturdy financial ties with Taiwan, in defiance of intense strain from China to vary course.
The new doc — which calls Taiwan’s commerce ties considered one of its “strategic priorities” — comes as Brussels and Beijing enter a new part of stress over commerce. The Netherlands recently decided to block exports of superior semiconductor machines to China, prompting Beijing to roll out export controls on critical minerals.
Going additional than the EU’s mildly crucial language, Lithuania’s strategy describes China as a “global economic and military power that has consolidated ever-intensifying autocratic control methods domestically and is exercising an increasingly aggressive foreign policy aimed at projecting its power externally.”
The Baltic nation is engaged in a severe commerce and geopolitical dispute with Beijing. Lithuania turned the primary member to drop out of the China-led 17+1 grouping for primarily ex-Soviet nations, earlier than permitting a new Taiwan commerce workplace to be arrange in Vilnius in 2021. In response, China focused Lithuania with financial bullying ways, which subsequently pressured the EU to undertake a new anti-coercion commerce weapon.
According to the strategy, issued by Lithuania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beijing’s coercion has not labored.
“Unsuccessful attempts by China to exert economic and diplomatic pressure on Lithuania proves that a country can withstand economic blackmail if it has built up societal resilience and has reliable partners,” it says.
Taiwan is a self-governing island that Beijing claims as its personal. A world chief in superior microchips, Taiwan is crucial to assembly many Western financial and navy wants.
“Lithuania is seeking to enhance practical cooperation with Taiwan, a likeminded democracy, and an important economic and technological partner in the region,” the strategy doc says. “The development of economic relations with Taiwan is one of Lithuania’s strategic priorities and a part of its economic diversification policy.”
It stresses adherence to the “One China policy,” below which international locations acknowledge the People’s Republic of China and shouldn’t have diplomatic ties with the authorities of Taiwan.
But the doc continues: “Military support for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine or using force or coercion to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait are red lines.”
Lithuania, which has stepped up strategic coordination on China coverage with the U.S. over the previous two years, warns that Beijing is ready to make the most of “economic, political, diplomatic, and other types of coercion” to realize its objectives.
“It is crucial to work with Indo-Pacific societies in order to curtail the spread of Russian disinformation bolstered by China and China’s informational pressure against Taiwan,” it provides.