Lithuania blocks rail contract with Chinese company (report)

Jan 07, 2022 3:03 AM STI

Beijing [China], Jan. 7 (ANI): Lithuania reportedly blocked a rail contract with a Chinese company amid growing tensions between Vilnius and Beijing over the opening of Taiwan’s mission in the Baltic country.
“Lithuania has reportedly blocked a rail contract with a Chinese company. The nation has accused China of economic coercion,” the Global Times said in a tweet.
Tensions erupted between China and the Baltic nation when in November Lithuania angered China by allowing Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius, equivalent to an embassy. It has intensified in recent times after Lithuania took steps to strengthen ties with Taiwan. China sees Taiwan as an integral part.
Lithuania needs the support of the West and other foreign powers to counter Chinese aggression, according to a report, as it appears to be fighting almost alone against one of the world’s economic and political superpowers.

According to the Hong Kong Post, Lithuania is at the forefront of countries that identify China as the greatest threat because it has dared to openly oppose Chinese President Xi Jinping’s autocracy and Beijing’s aggressive behavior.
The representative office opened as “Taiwan Representative Office in Lithuania” implicitly implying recognition of a legal entity separate from the mainland.
Beijing attacked Lithuania by reducing diplomatic relations with them.
In addition, this month, Beijing also asked the Lithuanian authorities to hand over their identity documents in order to downgrade their diplomatic status. The request was such a serious concern for Lithuania that Vilnius withdrew its remaining diplomats from China in mid-December, fearing for their safety.
In addition, China has suspended the movement of freight trains connecting Vilnius as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It has stopped processing Lithuanian food export license applications, according to Hong Kong Post. (ANI)

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