Wednesday, February 8, 2023

EU sues China at WTO over dispute with Lithuania

BRUSSELS ( Associated Press) — The European Union announced Wednesday that it has launched legal proceedings at the World Trade Organization against China over what it considers to be banning imports from Lithuania.

The European Commission estimates China will cut trade with the member state by 80% this year as Lithuania breaks diplomatic practice by allowing a Taiwanese office in Vilnius to bear the name of Taiwan instead of Chinese Taipei in 2021. which was used by most countries. Avoid angering Beijing.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory without the right of diplomatic recognition, and the Lithuanian decision enraged Beijing, which recalled its ambassador from Vilnius and expelled the Lithuanian ambassador from Beijing. The Baltic state has since closed its representation in Beijing.

The commission, which manages trade on behalf of 27 member states, said it launched the WTO complaint because “China has applied discriminatory and coercive measures against exports from Lithuania and products from the EU which have a Lithuanian component.”

China said it condemned the European Union’s move, which involves another dispute over the rights of European companies to their high-tech patents.

“China has always managed foreign trade in line with WTO rules, continued to strengthen intellectual property rights and strive to create an environment conducive to innovation and business operations,” the commerce ministry said in a statement. ”

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