TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Beijing has responded angrily to news the European Union (EU) has taken action against China at the World Trade Organization for its discriminatory trade practices against Lithuania as a dispute that began last year over the Baltic state’s warming ties with Taiwan continues to evolve.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday (Jan. 27) Zhao Lijian (趙立堅), spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, took issue with the case, saying it was a political rather than an economic dispute. He said Lithuania was trying to “hijack” EU-Beijing relations, according to a Reuters report.
"The so-called Chinese coercion against Lithuania is groundless and inconsistent," Zhao said, according to a Barron’s report, "the issue between China and Lithuania is a political one not an economic one."
The EU, meanwhile, has judged China’s actions to have violated WTO rules. Since all attempts to resolve the dispute bilaterally have failed, it is taking the case to the multilateral trade body.