Lithuania due to tensions with China – the center of Western attention of major powers: the situation is very serious
Mr Blinken spoke to French, German and UK diplomats on Wednesday, according to a US State Department press release.
“They emphasized solidarity with the greatest in the face of political pressure and economic coercion in the Republic of Lithuania, and rejected such practices,” the press release said.
The conversation also continued discussions on further action to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine, and it was agreed that such action would have huge consequences and cost Russia a lot. They reiterated their support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During the conversation, other foreign issues were discussed, concerns about the development of affairs with Iran’s nuclear program, and Libya’s efforts to organize national elections were discussed.
The question is whether the political will will defeat the money
A. Azubalis, a member of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs and former foreign minister, noted that the US Secretary of State had spoken to those countries in which China had invested the most financially.
“It simply came to our notice then. China has invested about 300 billion in there. US average. I am not talking about the assets acquired in the European Union, joint ventures, mergers and other things, ”said A. Ažubalis.
According to the politician, the fact that they have expressed solidarity with Lithuania due to the economic and political pressure it is experiencing from China is a good thing.
“It simply came to our notice then. Suppose Volkswagen will allow the German government to show solidarity with Lithuania? Va here is the question. Voxwagen exports somewhere around 40 percent. its production to China. There are his factories there.
I can only speculate that the influential industrialists who spoke out clearly about Nord Stream2 were probably very influential in Angela Merkel’s project in Russia. We are faced with the question whether the political and political will will win the money? ”A. Ažubalis commented.
There is a difficult road ahead in Europe
Experienced politicians have emphasized that much work remains to be done on this issue in terms of European solidarity.
“Because if we look at the former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, where? Where is the Austrian Foreign Minister? Those people out of nowhere, they are representatives of dedicated political organizations, representing the creation of certain economic strata in Europe. Everything is intertwined. And we all pay for opportunistic politics – not only Lithuania, but all those who think that the goal of politicians is to make the world fairer, ”commented A. Ažubalis.
According to politico.eu, Fillon became a member of the board of the Russian oil company Sibur in December this year, and at the end of June the Russian government appointed him to the board of the state oil company Zaroubneft.
Former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneisslel has been appointed to the Rossneft stock exchange.
There is no way back
The MP is convinced that succumbing to Chinese pressure and renaming the Taiwanese representative to Taipei as they wish is certainly not the way out.
“In this case, we lose our allies who support us in the world, and at the same time we become completely dependent on China. Because, is there a guarantee that China will not demand anything else once we have made the decision it wants? Or maybe it will require a second, third, fourth thing. And what will we then say, “we are back to the previous position”? I think that in this case, returning to where we were already is quite risky, ”said A. Ažubalis.
The politician takes the current problem seriously, and even raises the idea that the State Defense Council (VGT) could be convened in Lithuania as a result.
“It simply came to our notice then. I probably think that this situation, which is Lithuania’s international situation and relations with China, is worth discussing in VGT. I think that such a VGT should be convened, but, of course, it should be convened without much advertising, ”said A. Ažubalis.
Relationships are frozen
Tensions between Vilnius and Beijing erupted in May, when Lithuania withdrew from the 17 + 1 format, which unites China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
The Lithuanian Representation in China will temporarily work remotely, Audra čiapienė, the Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, will be sent for consultations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in mid-December.
According to the ministers, discussions are currently taking place on the technical circumstances of the Lithuanian mission in China and the working conditions of the Chinese mission in Lithuania – China is awaiting a decision to extend the accreditation of Lithuanian diplomats in China.
In the absence of a deputy diplomat in Beijing, the embassy is temporarily continuing its work remotely.
As before, consular services will be provided remotely to Lithuanian citizens in China to a limited extent.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that Lithuania is ready to continue discussions with China and to restore the work of the embassy in full once a mutually acceptable agreement is reached.
China has recently protested against Lithuania’s developing relations with Taiwan and the opening of a representative office in Vilnius.
In August, China recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and demanded that Vilnius exercise that right. Ambassador Diana Mickevičienė returned to Vilnius for consultations in early September.
In November, China, in response to the opening of a Taiwanese mission in Vilnius, lowered its diplomatic representation requirements with Lithuania, with diplomatic missions in Vilnius and Beijing being headed by lower-ranking diplomats – ambassadors rather than ambassadors.
At the beginning of December, Lithuanian business reported an unsuccessful attempt to clear its goods in China, as Lithuania was removed from the Chinese customs system, which hampered the export of Lithuanian goods to China.
Although it is likely that Lithuania was later deliberately removed from the systems, China’s economic pressures did not end, according to Reuters, an international company told Beijing in early December to cut ties with Lithuania, otherwise it would face exclusion from the Chinese market.
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