Thu, 01 Jun 2023

Taipei [Taiwan], July 24 (ANI): Lithuania is contemplating opening its trade office in Taiwan in September amid growing tensions between Beijing and Vilnius, according to media reports.

Quoting Lithuanian Vice Minister of the Economy and Innovation Jovita Neliupsiene on Friday, the media outlet reported that Vilnius was planning to open its trade representative office in Taipei on September 12.

The trade office is likely to be at the World Trade Center near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District, as per reports.

Legislative Speaker You Si-kun had invited Lithuanian Seimas Speaker Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen to visit Taiwan in September or October, Taipie Times reported.

Meanwhile, China on Friday protested against Lithuania for welcoming the delegation, stating it contravenes its "one China" principle.

"China expresses its strong protest and firm objection to this," the Office of the Charge d'Affaires of the People's Republic of China in the Republic of Lithuania said in a statement."China urges Lithuania ... to abide by the political commitment of the one-China principle, not to send a wrong signal to the Taiwan independence separatist forces," it said, as cited by Taipie Times.

The relations between China and Lithuania deteriorated after Taiwan opened its official representative office in Vilnius in November 2021. Beijing lodged a protest against Lithuania and later downgraded the bilateral relations to the level of charges d'affaires.

Beijing in February this month, suspended imports of beef from Lithuania, according to a document released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

China appears to be the largest beef importer in the world. According to Chinese media, the suspension of beef imports from Lithuania will not affect the domestic market since the volume of supplies is insignificant. Only one Lithuanian company has permission to supply beef to China.

The European Union in January launched a case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China over its discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania, which it says are also hitting other exports from the EU's Single Market.

China claims full sovereignty over Taiwan despite the separate two sides being governed separately for more than seven decades. Taipei continues to counter the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US. (ANI)

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