Beijing’s Spat With Lithuania Sets The Stage For Shaky New Era of Europe-China Ties
By Reid Standish
August 17, 2021
A diplomatic spat between Lithuania and China over Taiwan has pushed Europe’s relations with Beijing back into the spotlight as the European Union struggles with how to define its increasingly shaky relationship with the world’s second-largest economy.
The latest episode between Vilnius and Beijing kicked off on August 10, when China recalled its ambassador to the Baltic country in response to Lithuania’s decision to set up a diplomatic office in Taiwan. This was followed by China demanding that Vilnius recall its ambassador from Beijing.
Beijing’s anger centers around Lithuania’s move to open a representative office in Taipei under the name Taiwan. While Taiwan has a diplomatic presence in more than 70 countries, most representative offices use Taipei, its capital, in the official name.