Translated by: MOS Finesse Team – Peter Chen
According to British academic journal The Economist on March 9, the Communist China’s refusal to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine, made Lithuania more aware of the interconnectedness of threats between Russia and China. No matter which political party take power in the future, it may find difficult to bow to Beijing on the “Taiwan Representative Office” issue.
Eric Huang, the chief of Taiwan’s office in Lithuania also told The Economist that, it’s very meaningful for “Western democracies” that a small country such as Lithuania has “weathered the storm”.
The bilateral relationship of the Lithuania and Communist China deteriorated as Lithuania took the lead in moves: withdrawing from the 17+1 interaction mechanism between CCP and Central and Eastern European countries last year, barring CCP’s telecom giant Huawei from Lithuania’s 5G infrastructure network, permitting Taiwan to set up “Taiwan Representative Office”.
Immediately, the CCP retaliated against Lithuania with political and trade measures, including technical obstacles for bilateral import and export trading, pressure on EU companies to exclude Lithuania from their supply chain.
The Economist pointed out, Lithuania’s stance against the CCP has become tougher in the recent years, the CCP’s refusal to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine even touched the sensitive nerves of Baltic Sea countries like Lithuania, which had been occupied by Soviet Union for nearly 50 years. Lithuania is a special country of neighbored with two dictatorship countries Russia and Belarus. This time, Russia invades Ukraine through Belarus.
Although the Baltic countries like Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia etc. have already jointed NATO since 2004, they are all worrying about Putin’s ambition to reconquer other former Soviet territories. Under the circumstances, Beijing’s friendliness to Moscow would obviously worsen Communist China’s image in Lithuania.
In particular, the security collaboration between the Communist China and Russia has kept Lithuania alert. In 2017, for the first time, Russia and China held a joint naval exercise in the Baltic Sea. The PLA of CCP dispatched advanced armaments of Luyang-class missile destroyers, the ships anchored in Kaliningrad, an enclave of Russia which is next to Lithuania, is a base to Russia’s Baltic Fleet and its command headquarter too.
Konstantinas Andrijauskas, Associate Professor of International Relations in Vilnius University said “Increasingly, we do not see the China file and the Russia file as separate from one another”.
Dovile Sakaliene, an opposition legislator of Social Democratic Party Lithuania, who is on the blacklist of CCP for visiting Taiwan and criticising Beijing’s human-rights abuses, believes there is little chance to change the name of “Taiwan Representative Office”, “Pressure and intimidation by China [have] closed that avenue,” she says. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made politicians of Lithuania more aware of the dangers of bowing to authoritarian hooligans.
Proofread and edited by: Ann
Posted by: Ann
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