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2022.01.12 17:00

Western partners must do more to help Lithuania withstand China’s pressure – Bloomberg

LRT.lt2022.01.12 17:00

Lithuania should not deal with China’s economic coercion alone, according to Bloomberg’s Editorial Board.

China has recently been retaliating against Lithuania, which opened a Taiwanese representative office using the island’s name in Vilnius.

Lithuanian businesses have reported difficulties in doing business with China. Beijing has also been pressuring multinationals trading with China to drop Lithuanian suppliers.

“China’s actions are often undeclared, to maintain deniability, and aimed at suppressing criticism,” Bloomberg‘s Editorial Board wrote.

“Future pressure campaigns are inevitable, especially if countries such as Lithuania can be forced to cave,” it added.

According to Bloomberg, the Western response to China’s pressure on Lithuania to date “has not matched the scale of the challenge”.

The EU has plans to roll out the so-called “anti-coercion instrument” that would allow the bloc to more easily apply sanctions on economic rivals, such as China. But the legislation could take years to pass.

What the EU must do now is “compensate businesses and workers directly impacted by Chinese restrictions”.

The European partners, as well as the US, could also assist Lithuanian businesses in finding new markets for their goods, Bloomberg wrote.

“EU officials should also make clear to Chinese leaders that attempts to interfere with the single market are intolerable. They should accelerate efforts to gather evidence for a formal complaint at the WTO,” it added.

Read more: Taiwan to launch $1bn loan fund for joint projects with Lithuania – minister

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