“Lithuania has been removed from the customs system – it seems that such a country no longer exists in the Chinese customs system. This creates additional problems for exporters,” he acknowledged.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also confirmed to the BNS news agency that there are possible obstacles to the entry of Lithuanian products into China. It has stated that it will seek the European Union’s (EU) response.
“We are in contact with Lithuanian companies, gathering all possible information from China about the restrictions and also contacting the European Commission about the reaction at the EU level,” the ministry said in a comment.
Beijing has reportedly been outraged this year by Lithuania’s decision to allow Taiwan to establish a representation in Lithuania under the name “Taiwan” as China seeks to prevent any attempt by Taiwan to act as an independent state. Elsewhere in the world, such representations use the name “Taipei” as Taiwan’s capital, in line with Beijing’s “one China” policy, which does not allow Taiwan to be considered a separate country.
Taiwan’s representative office in Vilnius was opened on November 18, but soon after, China announced that it had lowered the level of diplomatic relations with Lithuania, ie in the future Beijing’s interests in Lithuania would be represented not by an ambassador but by a lower-ranking diplomat.
In May, Lithuania announced that it was withdrawing from the 17 + 1 format for economic and political cooperation, which is important for China and involves mainly Central and Eastern European countries, as it considers it divisive.
The intention to open a Taiwanese representation in Lithuania was announced in July.
In August, China recalled its ambassador to Vilnius, citing Lithuania’s position on Taiwan, and demanded the recall of the Lithuanian ambassador to Beijing.
Lithuanian Ambassador to China Diāna Mickevičiene returned to Lithuania for consultations in early September.