Like-minded partners show unprecedented support to Lithuania in the face of China's illegal pressure
The United States of America, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan and Taiwan took advantage of the opportunity to submit requests to join the World Trade Organisation's dispute settlement consultations with China. The EU has referred China to the WTO following its economic pressure on Lithuania.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis, such a wide involvement of the countries and attention given to the EU-China consultations clearly demonstrate that China's illegal discriminatory restrictions are posing challenges to the entire international trading system and that politically motivated economic coercion cannot be tolerated.
“This case is important for most of the WTO members. The world’s most powerful economies, including the G7 countries, have joined forces against China’s illegal actions that threaten the entire international trading system. The world's largest democracies have shown unprecedented solidarity with Lithuania," Landsbergis said. The Foreign Minister also stressed that the WTO was established to ensure that global trade flowed smoothly and predictably, preventing such issues as currently faced by Lithuania, when the fundamental principles of the WTO were violated.
On 27 January, the European Commission launched a case at the WTO against China over its illegal economic pressure on Lithuania and the European Union, initiating the WTO dispute settlement consultations with China. According to the EU, the Chinese discriminatory restrictions are illegal under the WTO rules.
The consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement procedures that will give the opportunity to find a satisfactory solution. If the consultations do not lead to a solution, the EU may request an establishment of the WTO arbitration panel.