Authorities say China has halted importing cattle, dairy goods, and beer from Lithuania as a dispute over the Baltic state’s relations with Taiwan escalates.
The exports were halted by China’s General Administration of Customs due to a “lack of documentation,” according to a Lithuanian agency.
After allowing Taiwan to build a de facto embassy in Lithuania, the move was made.
It might help buttress a European Union complaint accusing China of discrimination against a member state.
“So far, no warning from China that any information or data is missing,” Lithuania’s State Food and Veterinary Service stated.
In 2020, Chinese officials conducted a remote audit of Lithuanian beef and fish product exporters, according to the agency.
There were no complaints, and exports continued to flow smoothly until the end of last year, according to the report.
The reason for the sales halt was not revealed.
Relations between China and Lithuania deteriorated after Lithuania permitted Taiwan to build an embassy in Vilnius in November.
Many foreign countries adopt the term Taiwan instead of “Chinese Taipei” to avoid offending China, hence the embassy in Lithuania is called Taiwan.
China, on the other hand, reduced its diplomatic relations with Lithuania just a few days later.
Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, despite the fact that it is a self-governing democratic state. In the last year, Beijing has increased its pressure on the island to isolate it from its foreign friends.
The decision might aid the advancement of a trade dispute brought by the European Union (EU) against China, which was sent to the World Trade Organization in January.
The complaint, which has the support of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada, accuses China of engaging in “discriminatory trade practices” against Lithuania, which is a member of the European Union.
Businesses in Europe were allegedly pressured to remove Lithuania from their supply networks as part of these alleged activities.
The action was essential, according to Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU’s executive vice president and commissioner for trade, since “previous bilateral attempts to address the matter failed.”
Despite the fact that China is the world’s top beef importer, it buys very little from Lithuania.
According to Chinese customs data, it imported 775 tonnes of beef from Lithuania last year, out of a total of 2.36 million tonnes.
Following the purchase of 20,000 bottles of Lithuanian rum intended for China, Taiwan’s government began sharing advice with the public on how to consume and cook with rum last month.
Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp bought the rum after discovering that it would be banned from entering China, according to state-run media.