Taiwan will set up a $1 billion credit program aimed at funding projects for Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies amid Chinese economic pressure on Taiwan to open offices in EU countries
This comes after Taiwan last week announced the creation of a $200 million investment fund to help Lithuania in its diplomatic spat with Beijing. U.S. and Lithuanian officials say China has blocked imports from the Baltic states, a close U.S. ally.
Lithuania broke diplomatic convention by agreeing that the Taiwanese representative office in its capital Vilnius — the de facto embassy — would use the Taiwanese name instead of Chinese Taipei, which other countries use to avoid offending Beijing. China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory and has no right to diplomatic recognition.
Lithuania expects the new credit scheme to boost projects in the tech sector, including computer chips, laser manufacturing and biotechnology, which are under pressure from China.
“This is very good news. I think Lithuania can be assessed as a potential investment location for the semiconductor industry,” Lithuanian Economy and Innovation Minister Oslin Amonette told reporters after an online meeting with Taiwan’s National Development Council Minister Gong Mingxin .
Beijing last week slammed Taiwan’s investment fund for Lithuania as “dollar diplomacy” and accused the United States of inciting the Baltic states to contain China.
Lithuania is a country with a population of 2.8 million and is a member of the European Union and NATO. Before the diplomatic spat erupted last year, China was Lithuania’s 13th largest trading partner, while Taiwan was 65th.