China Stops Rail Freight To Lithuania As Feud Over Permitting Taiwan To Set Up A De Facto Embassy Escalates

Swarajya Staff

Aug 18, 2021, 09:42 PM | Updated 09:42 PM IST

Chinese Freight Trains To Europe
Chinese Freight Trains To Europe

Beijing has halted direct freight trains to Lithuania, in the latest salvo in the simmering geopolitical feud over Taiwan, South China Morning Post reported.

China Railway Container Transport Co (CRCT) has reportedly halted the transit of cargoes “until further notice”,

On Aug 15, Lithuanian Transport Minister Marius Skuodis had indicated that rising tensions between Vilnius and Beijing might lead to a drop in rail freight volumes from China. The minister however pointed out that the decision is likely to have a limited impact as Lithuanian-Chinese economic ties are fairly weak.

Gintanas Liubanas, a spokesman for Lithuanian Railways, said they had yet to receive any official notification about a suspension of service.

On Aug 10, China announced that it would recalling its ambassador to Lithuania after the Baltic country allowed Taiwanese authorities to set up a "representative office" under the name of "Taiwan." Beijing continues to regard the self-ruled island as part of its territory.

Beijing said the decision by Vilnius was a serious violation of the one-China policy, a key pillar of Chinese policymaking and diplomacy.

Responding to Beijing's decision to recall its ambassador, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that Lithuania as a sovereign nation can decide its foreign policy for itself. Nauseda urged Beijing to change its decision.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.