Saturday, 12 February 2022 05:17

Lithuania Gains Support in Dispute With China




washington — Facing increasing pressure from China, Lithuania has been gaining support this week in a standoff that began over trade and was elevated when the small Baltic nation became the first European Union member to allow Taiwan to use its name on a de facto embassy.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis met on Wednesday and agreed to step up cooperation on challenges rising from China’s pressure on both countries. Landsbergis traveled to Canberra to open Vilnius’ first embassy in Australia.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, right, and Lithuania’s counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis hold a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, right, and Lithuania’s counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis hold a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Australia, Lithuania to Unite in Countering China Pressures

Payne said it’s important for like-minded countries to work together to maintain an international rules-based order. ‘We are sending the strongest possible message about our rejection of coercion and our rejection of authoritarianism,’ she said.

That meeting came after Britain announced on Monday that it would be joining an EU case against China over Beijing’s trade curbs on Lithuania. The EU launched a challenge at the World Trade Organization late last month, accusing China of discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania.