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The continent lies within the boundary of China’s feud with Lithuania



VILNIUS / FRANKFURT – China is putting pressure on the German language car parts giant Continent Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, amid a dispute between Beijing and the Baltic country over Taiwan’s status.

The Continental targeting is an example of how the Sino-Lithuanian diplomatic conflict is spilling over into business in an age of global supply chains and affecting the German car industry, a mainstay. lucrative business of Europe’s largest economy.

The Chinese government, which considers self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, downgraded diplomatic relations with Lithuania last month after Taiwan opened a representative office in Vilnius. Last year, Lithuania’s ruling coalition also agreed to support what it describes as “freedom fighters” on the island.

Continental, one of the world’s largest auto parts manufacturers, has a production facility in Lithuania, produces electronic parts such as controls for car doors and seats, and exports them to customers around the world. global including China.

Continental, which supplies all of Germany’s major carmakers, declined to comment on whether it had been asked by the Chinese government to sever ties with Lithuania.

China’s foreign ministry denied that Beijing pressured multinationals not to use Lithuanian-made parts, although it said their companies no longer trust Lithuania.

“The implementation of ‘one China, one Taiwan’ grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and seriously violates China’s core interests,” a spokesman added.

“I have heard that many Chinese companies no longer consider Lithuania a reliable partner. “Lithuania must look into itself to know why Lithuanian companies are having difficulty in trade and economic cooperation in China.”

China has pressured countries to downgrade or sever ties with democratically administered Taiwan. Earlier this month, a senior official and an industry body said that China has asked multinational companies to cut ties with Lithuania or face being shut out of the Chinese market.

Lithuania’s direct trade with China is modest, but its export-based economy is home to hundreds of companies that manufacture products such as furniture, lasers, food and clothing for multinational companies. country sold to China.

“Companies operating in Lithuania have successfully integrated themselves into international supply chains, so China’s economic pressure measures could cause a lot of disruption,” said Lithuania’s foreign affairs office. different for companies operating in Lithuania.”

“We closely monitor, analyze and evaluate each such case, including these German companies, and say they are “looking for sustainable long-term solutions,” said the spokesperson. and ways to resume trade flows with China”.

(Writing by John O’Donnell; Additional reporting by Yew Lun Tian in Beijing; Editing by Pravin Char)



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