With a population of 2.8 million and a mere 65,300 square kilometers of land, it takes courage to stand your ground against the predatory CCP.
China massively outweighs this small country with a population of 1.4 billion and 9.6 million square kilometers of land.
Which country made that stand?
The Baltic nation of Lithuania.
Lithuania has taken action against the CCP where wealthier and more powerful countries have failed.
In addition to blocking Chinese investment, starting a trade office in Taiwan, and demanding an investigation into the Uyghur concentration camps, Lithuania has pulled out of a Beijing-led economic cooperation group of other European nations.
Here’s the latest:
In setback for China, Lithuania opts out of Beijing-led ’17 1′ bloc in Eastern Europe https://t.co/FxsooiGhPR
— MyIndMakers (@myindmakers) May 24, 2021
— Epoch Times Opinion (@EpochOpinion) May 24, 2021
"Lithuania’s decision to open an office in Taiwan sets a precedent for Latvia and Estonia, neighbours who face similar threats from China — and Russia — and must urgently address similar vulnerabilities at home" https://t.co/KP5dq7evog | by @zsuzsettte
— 9DASHLINE (@9DashLine) May 19, 2021
“The international community must stand on the right side of history,” says @NuryTurkel.
Lithuania joins the group of nations that condemns China’s policy of genocide against the Uyghurs.https://t.co/OHr147pkU3
— Uyghur Human Rights Project (@UyghurProject) May 25, 2021
Lithuania recommended voting to call for a U.N. investigation of forceful detention camps set up by China imprisoning Uyghurs and to ask the European Commission to review relations with Beijinghttps://t.co/0lToPkMLeq
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) May 23, 2021
Beijing-friendly media wasted no time attacking the small, outspoken country:
This is quite counterproductive. Lashing out to Lithuania withdrawing from the 17+1 grouping because it is a "small country" is yet another example of how China is worsening it's own relations with EU/NATO member states. pic.twitter.com/zsfwmazAKf
— Bryce Barros (@barros_bryce) May 24, 2021
— Andreas Fulda (@AMFChina) May 24, 2021
Zero Hedge reported:
On Saturday, Lithuania terminated its relationship with China’s 17+1 forum for cooperation with eastern and central European states. The forum is now 16+1, and includes 11 EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia) along with Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The latter two are considered a single country.
In an apparent effort at divide-and-conquer, and to increase its influence, Beijing is providing the latter five countries with extensive free vaccines and masks. But a $1 billion loan to Montenegro for a road turned sour, with China’s monopolization of the money for its own construction company, allegations of kickbacks to “thief” politicians, repayments in arrears, the stalling of construction, and a threat of a Chinese takeover of key Montenegrin assets like its main port, which the country might have hocked as loan collateral. Any such takeover, according to EuroNews, could give China “sovereign” territory in Montenegro.
Given the increasingly overbearing circumstances of China’s global economic expansion and influence, Lithuania did the right thing. “There is no such thing as 17+1 anymore, as for practical purposes Lithuania is out,” Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in an email to Politico.
The wealthier and more democratic EU is obviously the better choice for the country. “Vaccination rollout, tackling pandemics are just [a] few recent examples of the EU27 united in solidarity and purpose. Unity of [the] 27 is key to success in EU’s relations with external partners. Relations with China should be no exception,” the foreign minister told Politico.
Lithuania called the Beijing-led organization “divisive” of European Union unity. Lithuania urged other EU members to leave the forum given deterioration of ties with China over Uyghur forced labor and the sanctioning of EU officials.
According to Agence France-Presse, Landsbergis called upon EU members to seek “a much more effective 27+1 approach and communication with China.”
On May 20, Lithuania’s parliament recognized China’s genocide and crimes against humanity as such. It called for an investigation, by the United Nations, of the Uyghur concentration camps in the Xinjiang region of China, and asked for a review of relations with Beijing by the European Commission.
The same day, the European Parliament froze the EU-China investment deal, until China lifts sanctions against Members of the European Parliament and European scholars. The vote was a major blow to Beijing, which through its genocide and wolf-warrior diplomacy, is steadily alienating its biggest trade partners around the world. The two votes likely precipitated the foreign minister’s announcement of a break with Beijing’s 17+1 grouping. Its singular break, however, indicates continued confusion among EU member states over the need for political and economic distance from Beijing.