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Taiwan Launches $1bn Lithuania Credit Fund Amid China Row

The Baltic nation has found itself the target of trade curbs after it allowed the island to open a de-facto embassy in its capital Vilnius under its own name

Taiwan Lithuania row
Taiwan National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin. Photo: Reuters


Taiwan is to launch a $1 billion credit programme to help fund joint projects between Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies in six business areas, a Taiwan government minister announced on Tuesday.

Lithuania is under pressure from China which claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to reverse a decision last year to allow the island to open a de-facto embassy in Vilnius under its own name.

China has downgraded diplomatic ties with Vilnius, and is pressuring companies, such as German car parts giant Continental to stop using Lithuanian-made components. It has also blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China.

Taiwan last week announced plans to set up a separate $200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade as it tries to fend off China’s diplomatic pressure on the Baltic state.


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“The investment and credit funds will help us strengthen the cooperation,” Taiwan’s National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin told an online news conference.

The credit fund will focus on developing semiconductor talent and facilitating semiconductor development, as well as biotechnologies, satellites, finance and scientific research, said Kung.

Lithuania’s Economy and Innovations Minister Ausrine Armonaite said her country planned to open a trade representation office in Taiwan in the spring.

“Taiwanese companies are in need of laser projects, hopefully our laser companies will soon find partners in Taiwan and we will be very happy to facilitate the partnership,” she said.

Taiwanese representations in other countries, except the unrecognised Somaliland, are named after Taiwan’s capital Taipei.

US diplomats have expressed strong support for Lithuania, calling China’s pressure “economic coercion.”

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister said he would discuss the Chinese pressure with his European Union counterparts on Friday.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

China Pressures European Firms to Shun Lithuania Over Taiwan Spat

Taiwan To Set Up $200 Million Lithuania Investment Fund

Lithuania Said to Cancel China Bridge-Building Contract



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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