Tuesday, June 6, 2023

EU-China Relations: Lithuania Warns of Fallout

Lithuania's Foreign Minister cautions the EU about potential consequences if relations with China deteriorate, particularly over Taiwan. Learn more about the need for preparedness.

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Nicole Marco
Nicole Marco
Nicole Marco is a driven journalist with a commitment to uncovering the truth. With over eight years of experience, she has made a name for herself in the industry with her investigative reporting and incisive writing. Nicole holds a degree in journalism from the University of Graz and has worked for well-respected Austrian newspapers. Her work has been recognized with several awards and she is dedicated to delivering in-depth and insightful journalism to her readers. Known for her courage and professionalism, Nicole is a valuable asset to the Austrian journalism community.
Lithuania Warns of EU-China Relations

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, has issued a warning to the European Union (EU) about the potential consequences of a deterioration in relations with China, particularly in the event of a conflict arising from the Taiwan issue. Landsbergis emphasized that he is not advocating for a complete separation or “de-coupling” from China, but rather highlighted the importance of being prepared for potential risks, similar to the fallout experienced with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Landsbergis pointed out that nobody initially called for a de-coupling from Russia, but circumstances ultimately led to that outcome. He stressed the need to consider the possibility of a de-coupling scenario arising due to changes in the situation in the Taiwan Strait, where the use of force could significantly alter the dynamics. These remarks were made by Landsbergis as he arrived for a meeting with his EU counterparts in Stockholm.

The EU has been facing the challenge of recalibrating its relationship with China, which has been displaying increasing assertiveness on the global stage. Drawing lessons from its previous approach to Russia, which heavily relied on energy imports from Moscow and was deemed unsuccessful by many, the EU aims to adopt a different strategy. European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have advocated for a process of “de-risking” the relationship with China, without necessarily pursuing a complete de-coupling.

However, French President Emmanuel Macron has faced criticism for his recent stance on this matter. Macron has urged the EU to reduce its dependence on the United States and has cautioned against getting entangled in a Taiwan-related crisis driven by what he perceives as an “American rhythm” and an excessive Chinese response.

Considering these developments, Landsbergis’s remarks serve as a reminder to the EU of the need to be prepared for potential ramifications in its relationship with China, particularly in the context of escalating tensions surrounding Taiwan. The EU aims to strike a delicate balance between managing risks and maintaining diplomatic ties with China, all while drawing on past experiences in dealing with Russia. The evolving situation underscores the necessity for a cautious and well-calibrated approach to safeguard the EU’s interests and regional stability in the face of potential challenges.

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