BRSSEL (dpa-AFX) – The EU has initiated proceedings against the Asian country at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the trade conflict between Lithuania and China. It is about China’s “discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania, which also affect other exports from the EU internal market,” said the authority responsible for EU trade policy in Brussels on Thursday. Since attempts to resolve the dispute have failed, dispute settlement proceedings have been initiated against China.
Tensions have arisen between China and Lithuania in recent months. Beijing downgraded its diplomatic ties with the Baltic state after Taiwan opened a representative office under its own name in Vilnius. China regards democratic Taiwan, which seceded from the mainland in 1949, as a breakaway province rather than an independent state, and is attempting to isolate it internationally. Lithuanian business associations complained that imports of goods from Lithuania were being blocked and that the country was no longer listed in the Chinese customs system.
The EU Commission made similar allegations on Thursday. Evidence of various types of Chinese restrictions has been collected over the past few weeks. This includes the refusal to clear Lithuanian goods at customs and the rejection of import applications from Lithuania. In addition, companies in other EU countries would be urged to remove Lithuanian intermediate products from their supply chains if they export to China./wim/DP/mis