In the face of Chinese pressure, the US considers its support for Lithuania.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised Lithuania for its support for democracy in Belarus and Taiwan, and explored measures to assist the small Baltic state in the face of China’s wrath.
In July, Lithuania decided to allow Taiwan to build a representative office in its own name, provoking a Chinese pressure campaign aimed at isolating the self-governing democratic island on the world scene.
The EU country was already at the vanguard of the fight against Belarus’ authoritarian regime, welcome exiled leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory in last year’s elections.
As he welcomed Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, Blinken declared, “We stand against economic coercion, particularly that exercised by China.”
“We are big proponents of democracy, especially in Belarus, where we collaborate closely,” Blinken said.
Afterward, Landsbergis told AFP that he and Blinken talked about “economic, financial, and political measures” that may be implemented to counter Chinese pressure.
“We discussed different possible methods (to respond to China) that would benefit not only Lithuania, but also other nations facing similar pressure from authoritarian regimes in the future,” he said.
Over the decision on Taiwan, which the communist government deems a territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, Beijing halted freight trains to Lithuania and ceased issuing food export permits.
Landsbergis said he also discussed his concerns about increasing political and military integration between Russia and Belarus, which recently conducted joint training, with Blinken.
“If the states unify, we must be prepared for a policy of non-recognition,” he said, noting that the illegitimate president lacks the right to sign such treaties.
“It’s up to the West to make it clear.”
He was referring to Alexander Lukashenko, the dictatorial ruler of Belarus, who has started a massive crackdown after demonstrators disputed results declaring him the winner of the 2020 election.
On November 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to sign a slew of integration agreements in Minsk, Belarus.