Taiwan to set up $200 mln fund to invest in Lithuania amid dispute with China – Reuters
VILNIUS, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Taiwan said on Wednesday it would create a $200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade as it tries to fend off diplomatic pressure on the Baltic state from China.
The Lithuanian government, meanwhile, ordered the state-owned railway company not to sign a contract with a China-owned Spanish bridge builder, citing “national security interests,” the prime minister’s spokesperson told the Baltic News Service.
Lithuania is under pressure from China, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to reverse a decision last year to allow the island to open a de-facto embassy in Vilnius under its own name.
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Taiwanese representations in other countries, except the unrecognized Somaliland, are named after Taiwan’s capital Taipei.
China has recalled its ambassador to Lithuania and downgraded diplomatic ties, and is pressuring companies like German car parts giant Continental (CONG.DE) to stop using Lithuanian-made components. It has also blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred to China’s pressure on Vilnius in a joint news conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock after a meeting in Washington and vowed to work with Berlin and others against such “intimidation.”
Blinken said Germany and the United States agree on the importance of trans-Atlantic coordination on China “because it poses a significant challenge to our shared values, to the laws, rules and agreements that foster stability, prosperity and freedom worldwide.”
“We have immediate concern about the government of China’s attempts to bully Lithuania … China is …….