China slams ‘egregious’ opening of Taiwan office in Lithuania

Taiwan sets up $1 bln credit for Lithuania amid China row

Taiwan said Tuesday it will set up a $1 billion credit fund for business with Lithuania, where firms have been hit by a row with China over relations with Taipei.

The move comes after Taiwan last week said it would create a $200 million (176 million euros) investment fund for the Baltic EU state, which allowed Taiwan to open a de facto embassy in November.

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These funds will be “available to any projects that can benefit the industrial development between Taiwan and Lithuania,” said Taiwan’s National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Lithuanian Economy Minister Ausrine Armonaite, Kung said the funds would focus on semiconductor, laser and satellite technology.

Lithuania has allowed Taiwan to open a representative office in Vilnius under its own name — a significant diplomatic departure that set off a bitter dispute with China.

Beijing baulks at any international support for Taiwan that might lend a sense of international legitimacy to the island, which it considers part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize by force if necessary.

Lithuanian business leaders and officials say the row has resulted in China blocking imports from Lithuania and other economic restrictions.

Armonaite said Lithuanian and Taiwanese experts in the semiconductor industry will meet soon.

“I believe this will be a great opportunity both for Lithuanian companies and Taiwanese businesses,” she said.

Kung also said Taiwan would “do its best” to support the Lithuanian companies affected.

Lithuania plans to open its own trade office in Taiwan in the first months of 2022.

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