Tensions between China and Lithuania have intensified since Taiwan opened a representative office in the Baltic nation’s capital last month, which Beijing deems disrespectful to Chinese sovereignty.
The dispute between Lithuania and China escalated after local media reported that goods from some of its companies were not allowed to enter Chinese ports.
Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Friday called the move “unannounced sanctions” and said Lithuania would seek help from the European Commission next week to resolve the issue. It is “unprecedented when an EU member state is partially sanctioned,” he said.
Local media reported that some of the Baltic nation’s forest and furniture products are stranded in ports after Lithuania’s removal from China’s electronic customs declaration system from December 1. Lithuania has not received any official comment on this from China.
The European Commission said it was in contact with Lithuania and the EU delegation in Beijing to verify the information.
“We have been informed that Lithuanian shipments are not cleared by Chinese customs and import requests are rejected,” said Nabila Massrali, spokesperson for the Commission.
Less than 1% of Lithuanian exports go to China and the decision is not expected to have “any fundamental impact” on its economy, said Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste.
Tensions between China and Lithuania have been escalating since Taiwan opened a representative office in the Baltic nation’s capital last month, which Beijing deems disrespectful to Chinese sovereignty.
China recalled its ambassador and lowered ties with Lithuania to the rank of charge d’affaires. Lithuania says it respects the “one China” principle.