FRANKFURT — China is pressuring Continental to prevent utilizing parts made in Lithuania, two people acquainted with the subject explained to Reuters, amid a dispute among Beijing and the Baltic state over the standing of Taiwan.
The Chinese government, which views self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, downgraded diplomatic ties with Lithuania final thirty day period following the opening of a agent business by Taiwan in Vilnius.
Lithuania’s ruling coalition experienced also agreed very last calendar year to assistance what it explained as “those people battling for flexibility” on the island.
Earlier this month, a senior government official and an industry entire body reported China has explained to multinationals to sever ties with Lithuania or encounter being shut out of the Chinese industry.
Continental ranks No. 6 on the Automotive Information Europe listing of the top rated 100 global suppliers, with throughout the world revenue to automakers of $29.68 billion in 2020. The provider has generation services in Lithuania, creating digital elements this sort of as controllers for vehicle doors and seats, and exports to consumers globally which includes China.
Continental declined to remark on irrespective of whether it experienced been asked by the Chinese authorities to reduce back links with Lithuania.
China’s international ministry denied that Beijing had pressured multinational businesses not to use Lithuanian-generated pieces though claimed its organizations no for a longer period trusted Lithuania.
“The apply of ‘one China, a person Taiwan’ grossly interferes in China’s interior affairs and seriously violates China’s main interests,” a spokesperson additional.
China has pressured countries to downgrade or sever their relations with democratically ruled Taiwan.
“I read that lots of Chinese businesses no longer regard Lithuania as a honest lover,” the spokesperson reported. “Lithuania has to look at alone for the purpose why Lithuanian organizations are facing difficulties in trade and financial cooperation in China.”
Lithuania’s immediate trade with China is modest, but its export-centered financial system is house to hundreds of firms that make goods these types of as furnishings, lasers, food stuff and clothes for multinationals that sell to China.
Lithuania’s international office stated: “Companies running in Lithuania have properly built-in on their own into global offer chains, so China’s financial stress actions may well induce various disruptions to companies working in Lithuania.”
“We carefully observe, examine and assess each and every this sort of situation, which includes among the these German companies,” explained the spokesperson, incorporating that it was “hunting for very long-term sustainable answers and methods to resume trade flows with China.”