GT Voice: Lithuania invites punishment for trampling on China’s sovereignty
Published: Nov 25, 2021 08:18 PM
Gambling on crumbs from the US' table Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Gambling on crumbs from the US' table Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Lithuania may be still under the illusion that the US and Europe could help it resist the pressure from China after the Baltic country's reckless provocation on the Taiwan question, but reality is set to slap it in its face.

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said during a visit to Washington that he spoke to senior US officials on the Baltic country's efforts to reduce reliance on China for supplies while calling for longer-term efforts to help it facing pressure, AFP reported on Wednesday.

Landsbergis also said that "I think that the biggest lesson out of Lithuania is that economic coercion does not necessarily mean that the country needs to step away from independent foreign policy decisions."

Landsbergis' visit came days after China downgraded the diplomatic relations with Lithuania to the level of charge d'affaires on Sunday over the latter's move to allow the opening of a so-called "Taiwanese Representative Office", which is widely deemed a diplomatic and economic suicide for the Baltic country.

With other consequences of Lithuania's reckless move are now becoming clearer, the country may start to realize the seriousness of its blunder and feel the economic pain the move will bring. But it is regrettable that instead of correcting its wrong decision, it chooses to stick to its current path by turning to the US and the EU for help, while pinning the label of the so-called "economic coercion" onto China.

In fact, the term of economic coercion is actually the best word to describe what the US has done in pursuit of its own interests and strategic goals. By wielding the big stick of economic sanctions against other countries and wantonly suppressing other countries' high-tech enterprises, the US has demonstrated to the world what economic coercion is.

By comparison, it is a distortion of the concept to pin the label of "economic coercion" onto China. Lithuania's provocation over the Taiwan question is mean and despicable.

Despite China's advance warning, Lithuania still decided to undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, to the detrimental of China's core interests, which is in violation of international law and basic norms of international relations. Under these circumstances, any decision China takes to defend its sovereignty is justified, and Lithuania needs to pay a price for its reckless provocation.

And it is absurd for Lithuania to assume that its "independent foreign policy decisions" can be based on undermining others' sovereignty. It is either stupid or malicious of the Lithuanian government to follow such a twisted and rogue logic when it comes to foreign relations.

Nevertheless, we have to say that there is a surprisingly naive side in those Lithuanian politicians, because they apparently still believe the US could replace China's role in the global supply chains. The US itself is now reeling from serious supply crisis and skyrocketing inflation, and may yet need China's help and coordination to get out its woes. It would be delusional for Lithuania to have any hope for substantive US support in terms of protecting its supply line.

We suggest China's relevant authorities make plans to remove Lithuania from the country's industrial supply chain to punish the Baltic nation for its flouting One-China principle and trampling on China's sovereignty.