Lithuania needs the support of the West and other foreign powers to counter Chinese aggression as it seems to be struggling almost alone against one of the world’s economic and political superpowers, according to a report.
According to the Hong Kong Post, Lithuania finds itself at the forefront of countries that identify China as the greatest threat as it dared to openly oppose Chinese President Xi Jinping’s autocracy and Beijing’s aggressive behaviour.
Tensions have escalated between China and the Baltic nation in recent times after Lithuania took steps to strengthen ties with Taiwan. China considers Taiwan as its integral part.
The tensions erupted between the two countries when in November Lithuania angered China by allowing Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius, equivalent to an embassy.
The representative office opened with the name “Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania”, thereby implicitly implying recognition of a legal entity separate from the mainland.
Beijing attacked Lithuania by lowering its diplomatic relations with Lithuania.
In addition, this month Beijing also demanded that Lithuanian officials surrender their identity documents in order to downgrade their diplomatic status.
The demand was such a serious concern for Lithuania that Vilnius withdrew its remaining diplomats from China in mid-December, fearing for their safety.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman noted that this act ‘creates a false impression of ‘one China, one Taiwan’ in the world, violates the one China principle, undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs’.
Further, China has suspended the movement of freight trains connecting Vilnius as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It stopped processing Lithuanian food export license applications, according to Hong Kong Post.
“Lithuania seems to be struggling almost alone against one of the world’s economic and political superpowers. It finds itself at the forefront of countries that identify China as the greatest threat as it dared to openly oppose Chinese President Xi Jinping’s autocracy and Beijing’s aggressive behaviour. It remains to be seen if the world community will come together to stand in support of Lithuania against Chinese coercion,” the Hong Kong Post article read.
“The Baltic nation needs the support of the West and other foreign powers to counter Chinese aggression. Washington announced its support for Lithuania’s decision. The EU, on its part, warned of further consequences if Chinese pressure on Lithuania continues, but did not specify what the consequences might be,” it added. (ANI)