TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has purchased 20,000 bottles of rum from Lithuania to save the liquor from being potentially blocked by Chinese customs, reports said.
Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTLC), a state-owned manufacturer and distributor of cigarettes and alcohol, confirmed Taiwan has procured the Lithuanian liquor at the request of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), wrote Mirror Media.
The MOF reportedly did so after a wine exporter pleaded for help from the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania because a cargo of rum due to arrive in China on Dec. 20, 2021 might have faced customs issues. According to the exporter, this had already happened to a beer shipment at China's borders.
Last month Chinese customs temporarily removed Lithuania from its list of origin countries, virtually blocking cargos from the country from being filed, per Reuters. The sanction, among other measures, was imposed to punish the Baltic nation for allowing Taiwan to open a de facto embassy.
The 20,00 bottles of dark rum, manufactured by MV Group and sold under the brand of Propeller, is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Jan. 9. The rum will be available at spirits distributors across the country, the first of its kind on the market, said TTL Vice President Liao Chih-chien (廖志堅).
The Lithuanian beers stuck at sea due to the Chinese customs hurdle have also been redirected to Taiwan in purchases involving local dealers and importers. Lithuanian brewery Volfas Engelman was among the victims of the deepening spat, having suffered a loss of 500,000 euros (US$567,428) last year when Chinese orders were all canceled, per Mirror Media.