Edition: International | Greek
MENU

Home » EU Actually

‘China humiliates the EU’

As EU member state Lithuania sought to deepen diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Beijing made an example of the Baltic country by flexing its massive trade muscle and stopping imports of Lithuanian goods

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Monday, December 20, 2021

A day after Lithuania decided to recall its diplomats from Beijing, the 27 EU leaders meeting in Brussels devoted little time to the unprecedented spat.
A day after Lithuania decided to recall its diplomats from Beijing, the 27 EU leaders meeting in Brussels devoted little time to the unprecedented spat.

N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column

As EU member state Lithuania sought to deepen diplomatic ties with Taiwan, Beijing made an example of the Baltic country by flexing its massive trade muscle and stopping imports of Lithuanian goods. China’s embargo is now hitting manufactured goods from other EU countries, such as France, Germany and Sweden, which are dependent on Lithuanian supply chains.

A day after Lithuania decided to recall its diplomats from Beijing, the 27 EU leaders meeting in Brussels devoted little time to the unprecedented spat. It lays bare how little room for manoeuvre the EU has to take action to defend its political principles. The EU’s solution is to turn to its usual mindset: let the trade department handle it, and see what the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can do about it.

In either case there is not much ammunition available. The EU can gather evidence to start a dispute against China at the WTO, but that process can take years; and, anyhow, the WTO’s highest court is still paralysed. The dispute is also likely to be appealed. And the EU trade department? The usual trade defense instruments such as safeguards or anti-dumping measures do not cover the grey economic zone in which China is targeting Lithuania.

In the meantime two German car factories based in China had parts stopped at Chinese ports in recent days because they were manufactured in Lithuania. French and Swedish firms are also reportedly facing similar problems because Lithuanian products form part of their supply chain.

Beijing is still officially denying knowledge of the situation and has not publicly acknowledged any ban on Lithuanian products. However, Chinese state media are warning that Chinese businesses will stop trading with countries which do not respect Chinese sovereignty , a barely veiled reference to Lithuania’s deepening ties with Taiwan. ‘China humiliates the EU’, an EU diplomat said.

It looks like the world’s biggest trade bloc, as the EU loves to call itself, is not more than a lame duck…

READ ALSO

EU Actually

European Parliament elects an anti-abortion President

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

Roberta Metsola has been elected as the youngest ever President of the European Parliament and the first woman in the role for 20 years

View 04/2021 2021 Digital edition

Magazine

Current Issue

04/2021 2021

View past issues
Subscribe
Advertise
Digital edition

Europe

EU should advance foreign intelligence-gathering capacity, EU lawmaker says

EU should advance foreign intelligence-gathering capacity, EU lawmaker says

The EU should develop its own foreign intelligence services to provide itself with credible information about possible foreign threats, according to an upcoming European Parliament proposal

Business

5 forces driving the new world of work

5 forces driving the new world of work

Labour markets around the world were already going through significant transformations when COVID-19 hit two years ago

MARKET INDICES

Powered by Investing.com
All contents © Copyright EMG Strategic Consulting Ltd. 1997-2022. All Rights Reserved   |   Home Page  |   Disclaimer  |   Website by Theratron