Lithuania, in spat with China urges Europe to brace itself for ‘compulsion’ from Beijing

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (Reuters) – Lithuania will adjust to “short-term”economic pain treated by China” over to be moves to strengthen ties with Taiwan, abroad minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said: on Wednesday, as Europe urges Europe to brace itself against Beijing’s economic “compulsion” by getting more concerned in the Indo-Pacific.

China diplomatic ties downgraded with Lithuania on Sunday over the Baltic country move until allow self-governed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy there. read more Lithuania has formal relations with China and not Taiwan.

Beijing considers democratically governed Taiwan a province, and Lithuanian officials say China has also tried to inflict pain such as: cutting trade left in revenge for to be decision.

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Landsbergis told Reuters in an interview in Washington that such losses would be short-lived as Lithuania was making its supply chains less dependent on China.

“In brief term, it is painful for any country when your contracts are broken,” Landsbergis said. ‘But it’s short termas markets adapt. Companies are adapting.”

Landsbergis said China didn’t just cut ties with Lithuanian companies, but had approached companies in third countries to force them not to business with Lithuania.

The Lithuanian minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis speaks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) in the Benjamin Franklin room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ahead of a meeting, in Washington, DC, USA, September 15, 2021. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

“That much of what we produce is partially produced with, of inside, China. This is why we need to find ways to create supply chains and how to make them more resilient so that they can withstand this compulsion, the cutting of contracts, the secondary sanctions,” Landsbergis said.

He said that Lithuania is a model for countries on how to withstand such pressure, but European countries in special should turn into more concerned in the Indo-Pacific to increase their economic security.

“We need to understand that every country is involved now” in the Indo-Pacific,” Landsbergis said.

“Some of take our NATO allies big responsibility in the region, providing security guarantees countries, and that means we also should at least understand of what is going on on, of probably play part in this,” he said.

Landsbergis met earlier with deputy secretary of the United States of State Wendy Sherman, who according to a statement from the State Department, “understood rock-solid American solidarity” with its NATO ally.

Sherman welcomed Lithuania, a country of about three million, expanding the tires with democracies in the Indo-Pacific.

Washington has tried to cut out more space for Taiwan in the international system, one of the main factors in increasingly sour relationships with Beijing. Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said: last week that the US tries to expand cooperation with its partners and allies in the region caused “heartburn” in China. Beijing described the moves as Cold War thinking. read more

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Reporting by Michael Martina and Humeyra Pamuk; edit by Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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