Taiwan makes a show of buying Lithuania's rum ‘refused’ by the mainland: netizens
Published: Jan 04, 2022 04:07 PM
View of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania Photo: VCG

View of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania Photo: VCG

The Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation announced on Monday the purchase of 20,000 bottles of rum which it said was declined by the Chinese mainland in December. The shipment of rum is expected to arrive in the island in the first half of January, according to the island's Central News Agency. 

The move was mocked by island-based netizens as making a show of itself.

The secessionist newspaper Liberty Times claimed that the opening of the "representative office" bearing the name of Taiwan in Lithuania had angered the mainland, and Beijing was so annoyed that it has decided to halt trade with Lithuania.

The report said that a shipment of 20,400 bottles of dark rum wine produced by the MV Group Production was scheduled to arrive at a Chinese mainland port on December 29, 2021. But the mainland did not allow the rum to be exported to the mainland market, and the rum was purchased by the Taiwan island.

According to the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation, the shipment of wine is expected to arrive in Taiwan in early January, and when the goods arrive, they will be re-made and packaged in Chinese language before going on sale. 

The news has sparked heated discussion in the island with many calling it a publicity stunt.

"What a publicity stunt. Even 200 million bottles can't fill the loss of Lithuania," commented one Taiwan-based netizen.

"If Lithuania has unwanted rubbish, it can send them all to Taiwan," commented another.

As for Taiwan media describe the move as "revenge" by the mainland, some netizens asked, "Does Lithuania have no ill will towards China?"

Affected by the deterioration of China-Lithuania relations, a number of foreign media outlets continue to hype up false news including that "China's customs removed Lithuania from its customs declaration system" and "China is putting pressure on multinational enterprises". 

In response, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stressed on December 24 that Lithuania's actions have not only damaged the political foundation of the diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania, but also harmed beneficial practical cooperation between the two.

"I have heard that many Chinese companies no longer regard Lithuania as a trustworthy partner. Difficulties in economic and trade cooperation with China must be traced back to Lithuania itself," Zhao said.