China condemned the opening of a de facto Taiwan embassy in Lithuania last November as an “extremely egregious act”. Its Foreign Ministry added that any attempt for Taiwan to become independent from China was “doomed to fail”. But democratically-ruled Taiwan is seeking to increase its trade links with other nations to boost its international standing, most recently within the EU.
A Taiwanese credit programme worth $1billion is intended to help fund projects with Lithuanian companies, according to Reuters.
That equates to more than £730million.
The programme will support company links in six business categories.
Taiwan’s National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin said: “The investment and credit funds will help us strengthen the cooperation.
This is alongside a separate $200million fund (just shy of £150million) announced by Taiwan to invest in Lithuanian industrialise to boost bilateral sea.
Both ventures appear as blatant snubs to China, which will be considering repercussions.
This will raise fears of an open conflict between China and Taiwan.
Towards the end of 2021, China dramatically ramped its number of military aircraft incursions in Taiwan’s air defence zone.
READ MORE: UK renews promise to defend Falklands from ‘enemy’ attacks
In December, Lithuania pulled its diplomats out of its Chinese embassy as relations soured.
The Communist Party reportedly blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China.
But here too, Taiwan found a further opportunity to irk its self-declared owner.
A Taiwanese state-owned first purchased a large shipment of Lithuanian rum bound for China in January.
The country’s Government is then said to have shared recipes for cocktails online.
Both Taiwan and Lithuania appear to be soaking up support in the west against China’s claims.
Earlier this month, a US trade representative expressed strong US support for Lithuania and the EU in the face of Chinese “economic coercion”.