Lithuania’s diplomatic spat with China has drawn the entire European Union into its showdown with China, Politico Europe in Brussels reported Wednesday.
"It's like the classic Chinese saying: 'Killing a chicken to scare the monkey,'" a senior EU diplomat in China told Brussels. "Beijing is sending a message that whoever follows Lithuania's example, of daring to stand up to it, will face severe consequences. And such a message is best tested on a smaller country."
The diplomatic spat between the two countries erupted after Lithuania allowed Taipei to open a representation in Vilnius using the name “Taiwan”, a move which Beijing sees as an attempt to recognise the country that it considers to be a breakaway province.
According to Politico, “Beijing is now watching whether the monkey – the European Union – will take the side of the chicken or its butcher".
Lithuania was not the first country to be embroiled in a diplomatic conflict with China. The different, however, is that the country has little to lose from it, Politico wrote.
"Could you believe that we invested 10 times more in China than China in Lithuania?" a senior official in Vilnius said.
There were “three million euros worth of Chinese investment – yes in this country, only three million from China. Our companies invested almost 40 million euros in China,” he said, adding: “The big China is small."