EU, China to hold virtual summit over Lithuania tensions

The European Union (EU) and China will hold a virtual summit today to diffuse tensions between the two sides. The

EU, China to hold summit

EU, China to hold summit – Photo: EUOBOR

The European Union (EU) and China will hold a virtual summit today to diffuse tensions between the two sides.

The EU is pressing China to clarify its stance on the Russia-Ukraine War and end punitive trade restrictions against Lithuania. In February, China suspended beef and dairy imports from Lithuania after it allowed Taiwan to open an embassy in its capital, Vilnius. China also expressed openness in March to supplying military and financial aid to Russia despite Russia being subject to European and American sanctions. China is the EU’s largest trading partner, and the EU is China’s second-largest trading partner, with total trade between the two worth $709 billion in 2021.

Expect the EU to threaten China with tariffs and delays to trade and investment deals. The effectiveness of these measures will depend on the war’s course and the unity of EU member-states’ foreign policies. If these measures are unsuccessful, expect China to use import-export bans against European states to influence their foreign policies. Trade ties between the EU and China will likely increase in the coming decade, which will force China to limit its support for Russia in order to ensure access to European markets.

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