He promised to raise this issue during the informal meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) currently taking place in Brussels.
“Today, during our meeting, I will have the opportunity to raise another issue – a new page of China’s coercion against Lithuania. For almost two years, we suffered from trade restrictions, economic pressure, now the situation is better,” G. Landsbergis told reporters in Brussels on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, a new front has opened, we call it diplomatic coercion. Lithuania cannot operate in Beijing because China has unilaterally reduced the level of diplomatic relations with our country, thus limiting the travel and all diplomatic operations of both countries. I would like to inform my colleagues here about this during this meeting”, added the head of Lithuanian diplomacy.
At the end of January, G. Landsbergis confirmed that the Chinese representative office stopped issuing visas to Lithuanian citizens from January 24. The minister said then that he did not know the reasons or the period for which the issuance of these travel documents was suspended.
Last November, the head of Lithuanian diplomacy told journalists that officials from Vilnius and Beijing are talking about the normalization of diplomatic relations.
China downgraded its diplomatic representation in relations with Lithuania in 2021 and imposed trade restrictions after Lithuania allowed Taiwan to open a representative office on behalf of the island.
Beijing supported this with Lithuania’s support for Taiwan to act as an independent state, it also restricted relations with Vilnius and blocked Lithuanian exports and imports.
As a result, Brussels turned to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in early 2022. After receiving an appeal from the European Commission (EC), at the end of January, the arbitration panel of the organization temporarily suspended the examination of the trade restrictions applied by China to Lithuania.