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Global Times: EU Says It Has Sued China in the WTO

Global Times recently reported that the European Union’s (EU’s) Trade Commissioner, Dombrowski, issued a statement, saying that the EU has filed a lawsuit with the WTO over China’s discriminatory trade practices against EU member Lithuania. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian later responded that China has always acted in accordance with WTO rules. Zhao reminded the EU to distinguish right from wrong and to be wary of Lithuania’s attempt to kidnap China-EU relations. He added, “Lithuania, like other EU member states, should fulfill the political commitments made when establishing diplomatic relations with China.” Some observers expressed the belief that the WTO ruling process is extremely long and that the probability of Lithuania winning is close to zero. Dombrowski said that, since December 1, 2021, Chinese customs has banned the import of Lithuanian products. Also Chinese companies are canceling orders from Lithuania and reducing exports to Lithuania. In addition, China is encouraging multinational companies to ditch the use of Lithuanian components in their production. Otherwise they could face import restrictions. Dombrowski said, “Initiating WTO litigation is not a step we take lightly. However, after many unsuccessful attempts to resolve the issue bilaterally, we believe there is no other way but to request WTO dispute settlement.” The Lithuanian government expressed its gratitude to the European Union on the 27th. “The WTO proceedings will be very long, but this will provide important answers to the question of whether China’s actions are in line with international trade rules,” said Lithuania’s President Nauseda. Lithuania Foreign Minister Landsbergis said the EU’s move “shows the unity and the unity of the EU and sends a clear message to China that the EU will not tolerate any politically motivated economic coercion.”

Source: Global Times, January 28, 2022

Also see: “CNA: China Cut Orders: Lithuania’s Century-Old Brewery Switched to Taiwan”

CNA: China Cut Orders; Lithuania’s Century-Old Brewery Switched to Taiwan