China’s Hybrid War on Lithuania and the European Union

Between war and peace, there is a state that diplomats call “hybrid war.” To punish Lithuania for moving closer to Taiwan, Beijing is leading a real “Hybrid economic war” to this small Baltic state and, at the same time, to the European Union (EU).

Since Lithuania authorized the opening, at the end of November, in Vilnius, of a “Taiwan representative office” – and not only from the capital, Taipei – Beijing is increasing acts of reprisal. In addition to the recall of its ambassador to Vilnius and the expulsion of the Lithuanian ambassador to China, Beijing has reduced the level of its diplomatic representation in Vilnius. Lithuanian diplomats stationed in China having been forced to return their diplomatic accreditation, on December 14, without being certain of being accredited again, Vilnius preferred to organize in mid-December the urgent repatriation of some twenty diplomats. Note that Beijing denies that the slightest threat weighed on these people.

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The same vagueness surrounds commercial retaliation. Officially, these do not exist. But in early December, containers arriving from Lithuania in Chinese ports were no longer allowed to be unloaded due to a ” Technical problem “. This ” problem “ seems to have been resolved, but, according to Vilnius, multinationals that work with Lithuania have had their products blocked from entering China.

” To give a lesson “

According to our information, German, French and American companies are concerned. The site Politico cites the case of Swedish companies. “As only certain products are concerned, companies prefer not to communicate”, explains a Western diplomat. Questioned again on December 22, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also denied this embargo. A few days earlier, he had claimed that Lithuania “Acted in bad faith (…), gives the false impression that there is a China and a Taiwan (…). China (…) will defend its fundamental interests ”.

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Just read the Global Times to see that China in fact imposes an embargo on certain products. “There are so many ways to teach Lithuania a lesson. One of them might be more effective than others: [infliger] American-style sanctions on foreign companies ”. And the daily, which belongs to the Chinese Communist Party, to specify, on December 21: “For example, the United States put Huawei on a list, banning any foreign semiconductor company from selling it chips that have been developed using American technologies without first obtaining authorization, which is in fact an embargo. While the goal of the United States (…) is trying to unfairly harm competitors (…), similar action by China to safeguard its national interests would be fully justified. “ The daily goes even further: “China has the right to prohibit a company from selling products that include Chinese components or technologies and vice versa. “

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China’s Hybrid War on Lithuania and the European Union

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