Taiwan pledges to invest in Lithuania under pressure from China

Taiwan stated that it is setting up an investment fund and plans to take other measures to help Lithuania, because Lithuania is facing huge economic pressure from China and requires the island to open a representative office in EU countries

“This US$200 million fund will be used to invest in Lithuania’s economy and help its business, mainly in semiconductors, laser technology, biotechnology and other key industries,” Eric Huang, representative of the Taiwanese delegation to Lithuania, told reporters in the Baltic countries. The capital of Vilnius.

Lithuania broke its diplomatic practice and agreed that the Taiwan office in Vilnius would use the name of Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei, a name used by other countries to avoid offending Beijing. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has no right to diplomatic recognition.

The office is the de facto embassy and opened in November, and Lithuania plans to open its own trade office in Taiwan later this year. This angered China, and China withdrew its ambassador to Vilnius and expelled the Lithuanian ambassador to Beijing. Lithuania, a member of the European Union and NATO, closed its embassy in Beijing due to a dispute.

Taiwan said it was ready to help Lithuania in the supply trade, and the island said it had blocked the entry of goods into China.

“There are more than 120 shipping containers-worth at least 1.5 million euros-that have been blocked by Beijing. We are ready to accept all of these and help Lithuanian companies,” Huang said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Li insisted that Beijing’s blocking of Lithuania’s imports or pressure on multinational companies that do business with EU countries is “false news”.

“If there is a problem with the export of any product to China, relevant companies can report to the Chinese authorities through normal channels. EU individuals should respect the facts and stop making irresponsible remarks,” Zhao said at the end of last month.

He added that Lithuania “seriously damaged the political foundation of our diplomatic relations” and he “heard that some Chinese companies no longer regard Lithuania as a trustworthy partner”.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Tuesday that the use of the Taiwanese name in the mission was wrong, and regretted not coordinating this step with him. However, he did not say that he did not approve of Taiwan’s actual establishment of a mission in Lithuania.

Taiwan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tsang Yinquan defended the decision of Lithuanian politicians.

“The name is very meaningful. Taipei only represents one city, one capital. Taiwan has a clearer definition. Calling our country Taiwan does not violate any law,” he said.

On Tuesday, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrid Simeone discussed the tensions with European Commission President Ursula von der Lein, who later promised in a tweet that the EU would support this Baltic country with a population of 2.8 million. Responding to the “current trade friction with China.”


Associated Press writer Jari Tanner contributed in Helsinki, Finland.