China sanctions Lithuanian official over Taiwan visit

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China sanctions Lithuanian official over Taiwan visit

Nov 6, 2021, a citizen walks on the street in Siauliai, Lithuania. China's Foreign Ministry has announced on Friday plans to sanction Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agn Vaiciukevi i t who visited the Taiwan region this week, which trampled on the one-China principle, seriously interfered in China's internal affairs and undermined China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Vaiciukevi i t is the first foreign official sanctioned over the provocative Taiwan visit since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was sanctioned last week. Chinese analysts said that China has shown the world that it won't step back an inch on provocations that trample on the one-China principle by sanctioning the Lithuanian official, and Lithuania may face more consequences, including the severing of diplomatic ties if it continues on the wrong path. Analysts said that China's sanctions against the Lithuanian official served as a strong warning to other countries that may follow suit. In response to the egregious and provocative act of Vaiciukevi i, China decided to suspend all forms of exchange with the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Lithuania and suspending exchanges and cooperation with Lithuania in the field of international road transport, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry in a statement. Although China has not announced its sanctions against Vaiciukevi i based on previous Chinese sanctions against European officials, it is likely that she and her relatives could be banned from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, and any ties with China linked to her business activities and her immediate family members will be severed. In 2021, Lithuanian lawmaker Dovile Sakaliene was among 10 EU individuals and four entities that were put on China's sanctions list for spreading rumors and lies about China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in March 2021 that the individuals concerned and their families are prohibited from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, and that the companies and institutions associated with them are not allowed to do business with China. Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that China's sanctions came very shortly after Vaiciukevi i visited Taiwan, showing China's firm attitude. Vaiciukevi i t led a delegation to Taiwan on August 7 for a five-day visit. It was the third in a series of deputy-ministerial visits to the island by the Baltic state after visits by Lithuania's Vice Minister of Economy and Innovation Jovita Neliup ien and Vice Minister of Agriculture Egidijus Giedraitis in June. Cui said that the cooperation suspension in international road transport may not only be at the bilateral level, but may also include the multilateral level. Analysts said that the detailed sanctions against Vaiciukevi ii won't make her feel the pain of being sanctioned. China's sanctions came after Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said that China will act resolutely in response to the egregious provocation of certain individuals in Lithuania to challenge the one-China principle, and we urge certain people in Lithuania to stop being the pawn of ''Taiwan independence and anti-China forces and stop moving further down the wrong path. Wang said Lithuania undertook the obligation not to establish official relations or engage in official contacts with Taiwan, but it has time and again reneged on its commitment and apparently acted in bad faith.