China tightens the screws on Lithuania by strong-arming multinationalsReading Time: < 1 minute
China is leveraging its influence over multinational companies operating there, instructing them not to do business with Lithuania, or else. For the tiny Baltic country, that means not having access to Chinese markets. It’s the latest volley in a row with Lithuania over it having allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius. Beijing took that as an affront, as it considers the self-governed island nation a part of China.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin alleges that through its actions Vilnius has injured China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Some companies have, in fact, been strong-armed by China, in an attempt to dissuade them from doing business with Lithuanian firms, according to Lithuania’s vice-minister for foreign affairs, Mantas Adomenas, who says that China has also been lessening exports to his country.
It’s possible Lithuania will set up a fund to shield its companies from Beijing’s retaliation, and it may appeal to the European Commission for help. In May, Vilnius left the “17 + 1” group of countries from Central and Eastern Europe designed to collaborate with China.