Lithuania urges Europe to strengthen Indo-Pacific relations in the face of China’s “force”

Washington-Lithuania will adapt to the “short-term” economic pain China deals with in its move to strengthen relations with Taiwan, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said Wednesday. Indo Pacific.

The Chinese government downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania on Sunday over a move by the Baltic states to allow autonomous Taiwan to open a de facto embassy. Lithuania has a formal relationship with China, not Taiwan.

Beijing sees democratically governed Taiwan as a state, and Lithuanian officials say the Chinese government is also trying to inflict pain, such as breaking trade relations, in retaliation for the decision.

Landsbergis told Reuters in an interview in Washington that such losses are short-lived as Lithuania is working to reduce its supply chain’s reliance on China.

“In the short term, it’s a pain for any country to expire,” Landsbergis said. “But it’s short-term because the market adapts. Companies adapt.”

Mr Landsbergis said the Chinese administration not only broke ties with Lithuanian companies, but also pressured third-country companies not to do business with Lithuania.

“Most of what we produce is partly produced in or within China. This is how to create a supply chain and make the supply chain more resilient, this coercion, That’s why we need to find a way to withstand contract terminations and secondary sanctions, “says Landsbergis.

He will provide countries with a model on how Lithuania will withstand such pressures, but especially European countries should be more involved in the Indo-Pacific to enhance their economic security. I said there is.

“We now need to understand that all countries are involved in the Indo-Pacific,” Landsbergis said.

“Some of our NATO allies have great responsibility in the region and provide security to the countries, that is, at least we need to understand what is happening, or perhaps this. Must play some role, “he said.

Landsbergis had previously met with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, emphasizing “US solidarity of ironclads” with NATO’s allies, according to a State Department statement.

Sherman welcomed Lithuania, a country of about 3 million, and expanded its ties with democracies in the Indo-Pacific.

Washington has sought to open up more space for Taiwan in the international system. This is one of the main factors in the increasingly sour relationship with Beijing. Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell said last week that the US’s attempt to expand cooperation with partners and allies in the region has caused “heartburn” in the Chinese administration. Beijing described this move as a Cold War ideology.

By Michael Martina and Humeira Pamuk