China sanctions Lithuanian deputy minister for Taiwan go to

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BEIJING — China’s overseas ministry stated on Friday it had imposed sanctions on Lithuanian Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Agne Vaiciukeviciute for visiting Taiwan, the newest growth in Beijing’s diplomatic row with the European Union nation.

The overseas ministry stated China would additionally droop engagement with Vaiciukeviciute’s ministry and cooperation on transportation with Lithuania, a small Baltic republic.

Lithuania’s Ministry of Transport and Communications stated it regretted China’s announcement.

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“Beijing is selecting to proceed and intensify the course of unlawful actions in opposition to (an) EU member state,” the Lithuanian ministry stated in a press release to Reuters.

“This isn’t solely not conducive to the event of China’s relations with the democratic world, but additionally reverses Beijing’s personal declared coverage to this point of not hindering the event of a mutually helpful relationship with Taiwan, one of many world’s most progressive economies.”

China claims Taiwan as its territory and is in opposition to overseas politicians visiting the island. Democratically ruled Taiwan rejects China’s claims.

Taiwan’s International Ministry on Saturday condemned the sanctions, saying they amounted to “irrational retaliation” by China.

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“Taiwan vows to proceed to do its finest to help Lithuania to counter the unreasonable and arbitrary suppression of the Chinese language authorities,” the ministry stated in a press release.

Lithuania’s current bolstering of relations with Taiwan has infuriated Beijing and led to a fall in Lithuanian exports to China within the first quarter of this yr to virtually zero.

Vaiciukeviciute stated on Twitter on Friday that she had visited three cities and two seaports and had 14 conferences in Taiwan over a five-day interval.

“A productive week in Taiwan, searching for extra methods of LT Transport cooperation with TW maritime, transport and aviation corporations,” she tweeted, referring to Lithuania and Taiwan by their abbreviations.

Vaiciukeviciute visited Taiwan days after U.S. Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi did so. In response to Pelosi’s go to, China launched large army drills round Taiwan, slapped sanctions on Pelosi and commerce restrictions with Taiwan.

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When Jovita Neliupsiene, Lithuania’s vice minister of the financial system and innovation, visited Taipei in June, she stated Lithuania deliberate to open a consultant workplace in Taiwan in September.

Lithuania has come below sustained Chinese language stress to reverse a choice final yr to permit Taiwan to open a de facto embassy within the capital Vilnius below its personal identify.

China has downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania and pressured multinationals to sever ties with it.

In January, the EU launched a problem on the World Commerce Group accusing China of discriminatory commerce practices in opposition to Lithuania and arguing that this threatened the integrity of the bloc’s single market.

China stated that it has at all times abided by WTO guidelines and that its drawback with Lithuania is political, not financial, in nature. (Reporting by Yew Lun Tian in Beijing and Augustas Stankevicius in Vilnius; Extra reporting by Ben Blanchard in London; Modifying by Mark Heinrich, Paul Simao and William Mallard)



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