GT Voice: Lithuania faces countermeasures if it plays with fire on Taiwan
Published: Aug 08, 2022 12:26 AM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Continuing going further down the wrong path of supporting "Taiwan secessionists," a Lithuanian delegation led by the nation's vice-minister of transport and communication is scheduled to begin a five-day visit to China's Taiwan on Sunday, several days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed on the island on July 2.

In the wake of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, over 160 countries have spoken up for justice, condemned the visit as a reckless and irresponsible provocative behavior and support for China's efforts to uphold sovereignty and territorial integrity. Only a few countries, Lithuania included, stand on the opposite side of China and on the opposite side of justice.

Through a Twitter message, Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania's foreign minister, said that Pelosi has "opened the door to Taiwan much wider, I am sure other defenders of freedom and democracy will be walking through very soon."

Landsbergis' erroneous remarks and Lithuanian politicians' visit to the island of Taiwan is an ugly political stunt aimed at attempting to flatter the US and win Washington's favor. Lithuania deliberately caters to the US and further escalates tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Lithuania must correct its wrongdoing, otherwise it will further undermine the already damaged bilateral relations and damage the interests of the Lithuanian people.

The internet has, to an extent, amplified voices from groups with diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Some netizens think that Lithuania, a small country with a population of less than three million, may expect its anti-China rhetoric and behavior to arouse sufficient attention in the international community to flatter Washington and impress US politicians, but, embarrassingly, Lithuanian politicians' remarks and behavior is just an insignificant stunt to accumulate political capital for their future career and fool the secessionists in the island of Taiwan, which goes against the interests of both Lithuanian residents and people in the island.

There are also some netizens called for severe punishment for malicious behaviors that seriously violates the one-China principle and infringes on China's sovereignty. One option is to impose sanctions on Lithuanian companies that have businesses in Taiwan and have economic relations with the secessionists in the island.In particular, if Lithuania's export to the island of Taiwan is found to violate the EU's own export control measures or restrictions, China has sufficient reasons to take corresponding countermeasures against Lithuania. 

If Lithuanian companies related to "Taiwan secessionists" are worried about what sanctions they might receive, they should take reference from the unilateral sanctions imposed by the West on other countries. However, the difference is that China's countermeasures are to protect its legitimate interests from Lithuania's provocation, and will be strictly implemented in accordance with relevant regulations.

With tensions escalating in the Taiwan Straits, the Chinese mainland authorities last week announced economic punishment targeting "Taiwan secessionists." If some Lithuanian politicians and enterprises choose to stand side by side with "Taiwan secessionists," they are expected to meet the same fate.

In 2021, China downgraded its diplomatic ties with Lithuania, expressing solemn protest to the Baltic country after the island of Taiwan opened its so-called representative office in Lithuania. Some statistics showed that China-Lithuania trade has dropped dramatically thanks to Lithuania's anti-China policy which has seriously undermined the market confidence and political atmosphere for economic cooperation. If Lithuanian politicians continue the approach of unreasonable hostility and provocation against China, Lithuanian economy is expected to suffer further losses.

After its blunt provocation on the one-China principle, its exports to the Chinese mainland in the first quarter plunged by nearly 77 percent from a year ago, according to the South China Morning Post. Meanwhile, it is reported that Lithuania's numerous attempts to expand agricultural produce exports to Taiwan island encountered resistance.

Lithuanian politicians should remain sober and recognize the gravely detrimental nature of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, stop making wrong remarks and stop sending wrong signals to the "Taiwan secessionists." If Lithuanian politicians continue to undermine China's core interest, they should be 100 percent responsible for any disruptions to bilateral cooperation.