Lithuania seeks global instability with Taiwan region visit
First Voice
Lithuania the Puppet. /CGTN

Lithuania the Puppet. /CGTN

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Although Lithuania is a tiny Baltic nation in Eastern Europe, Vilnius has stirred up a series of colossal geopolitical crises in the past couple of years by intentionally provoking Beijing. And earlier this week from August 7 to 11, a delegation led by the Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agne Vaiciukeviciute visited the Taiwan region.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin condemned the trip on Thursday, saying:

"We strongly condemn Lithuanian anti-China forces' deliberate violation of Chinese sovereignty and interference in China's internal affairs. The one-China principle is the basic norm of international relations and the political basis for the development of bilateral relations between China and all countries, including Lithuania."

Wang cited the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Lithuania, reaffirming that "the Lithuanian government recognizes that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory."

This marks the third visit this year to Taiwan by Lithuanian officials at the deputy minister level –Lithuania's Vice Minister of Economy and Innovation Jovita Neliupšienė on June 12, and Vice Minister of Agriculture Egidijus Giedraitis on June 22. Accordingly, Vilnius stands eager to provoke Beijing, as Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis is leading the charge.

Foreign Minister of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis speaks during an interview with AFP in Washington D.C. on November 24, 2021. /CFP

Foreign Minister of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis speaks during an interview with AFP in Washington D.C. on November 24, 2021. /CFP

Vilnius is making desperate attempts to raise its status on the world stage by talking tough about Beijing.

As sitting foreign minister, Landsbergis endorsed a trade office deal between Vilnius and Taiwan. Accordingly in July 2021, Lithuania opened up a trade office in Vilnius on November 18, 2021 and the other office in Taipei is scheduled to start up this September.

Vilnius' geopolitical strategy won't succeed. The country is walking into a firestorm expecting the Western powers to rescue them if the Lithuanian economy collapses on account of moving forward on a decoupling from cross-border trade and investments with China. Ordinary Lithuanians will suffer a lot from the belligerent actions of their government. Meanwhile, China's imports from Lithuania have plunged amid recent diplomatic disputes, based on a report from China's General Administration of Customs.

Additionally, the Biden administration is not trustworthy with their pledges of support for Lithuania. When China downgraded its diplomatic relations with Lithuania and implemented new trade restrictions on the country last year–Washington never helped them other than write a strongly-worded letter to the Chinese government.

The U.S. is using Lithuania as a proxy tool to spark further conflicts against China, not to show solidarity with Vilnius but to test the waters. For example, Biden has never declared sanctions on China to support Lithuania and they even reaffirmed the one-China policy.

The small countries suffer while the U.S. continues on with its prosperous bilateral trade and investment ties with China.

Yet, Lithuania has struggled to figure this out and they may learn hard lessons in the future. China has emerged as the EU's leading trade partner in 2020 and 2021, according to the European Commission Directorate General for Trade. Vilnius is going against the international business trends. The tiny Baltic nation is taking shortsighted actions by provoking China over the Taiwan question.

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