Chinese diplomat urges new German govt not to play ‘Taiwan card’ as Lithuania aims to hold EU hostage
A Chinese diplomat in Germany has urged the new German government to play an active role in the EU, abide by the one-China principle and not play the “Taiwan card” or send wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces, as Lithuania aims to hold hostage the EU’s position on the Taiwan question with claims of “economic coercion.”
Wang Weidong, minister and chief of the Economic and Commercial Department at the Chinese Embassy in Germany, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that China has strictly followed WTO rules, criticizing certain Western media’s claims that China has moved to suspend clearing Lithuanian goods and reject import applications as “completely groundless.”
Wang sternly warned against Lithuania’s “microphone diplomacy” and its reckless hype over so-called “economic coercion” by Beijing targeting the EU. The comment comes as the country is starting to feel the brunt of its mistake on the Taiwan question.
“Playing the trick of ‘microphone diplomacy’ is not the right path and won’t work out. The Lithuanian side needs to look for internal reasons if cooperation between the two countries encounters difficulties. It needs to admit wrongdoings and take measures to rectify, so as to create conducive environment for bilateral economic and trade cooperation,” Wang said.
The remarks came after German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to Government of Lithuania, warning that if the Lithuanian authorities had not provided specific solutions to resolve the conflicts and improve relations with China, companies affiliated with the chamber will close their factories in Lithuania, and such behavior would potentially impact German companies across multiple industries, including lasers and auto parts with factories in Lithuania.
The chamber, which represents many German businesses overseas, said that German companies pay close attention to developments and disputes between China and Lithuania.
Asked about the reaction from the German business community, Wang said that “if certain German companies’ exports to China do hit technological hurdles, they could report such issues to China through existing channels. Bilateral communication channels are wholly open and smooth.
Regardless of China’s solemn protests and negotiation, Lithuania has flagrantly supported a “one China, one Taiwan” approach within international society that violates the one-China principle, a basic norm of international relations and a universal consensus held by the international community, which has seriously compromised bilateral diplomatic relations.
The Chinese side, out of the need to safeguard its core interests and the one-China principle, a basic norm governing international relations, has downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania to a chargé d’affaires level.
Wang said that China hopes Germany’s new government play an active role in the EU in abiding by the one-China principle, and not try to play the “Taiwan card” or send wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” secessionist forces, which would hurt the sound development of China-Germany and China-Europe relations.
“Germany’s new government is expected to place more emphasis on EU’s role and remain committed to strengthening Europe solidarity and sovereignty strategy, unifying EU’s voice to the international community,” Wang stated, noting that Germany has played a leading role in shaping China-Europe relations.
Lithuania is already suffering economic consequences from its mistake, as media reports said that Klaipeda Port, the largest port in Lithuania, is expected to lose 40 percent of cargo throughput in 2022 mainly due to downgraded diplomatic relations with China.
Facing challenges for its export sectors, the Lithuanian government has earmarked 6 million euros for businesses affected by tension with China, according to media reports.
At a press briefing in Beijing on Thursday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Lithuania’s foreign policy is wrong and a failure that harms the interests of the Lithuanian people.
Source: Global Times