US EXIM enters the battle against Chinese boycott of Lithuania

(ABC News, Washington, 27 May 2024) After Lithuania allowed Taiwan's de-facto embassy in Vilnius to bear the name Taiwan, instead of Taipei — Taiwan's capital city — as preferred by Beijing, Lithuanian businesses saw their cargo shipments to and from China stranded, and they were warned by major European businesses that Lithuanian-made auto parts would be barred from products for the Chinese market. Instead of caving in, Lithuania asked for help and American diplomats sought new markets for Lithuanian goods. The Export-Import Bank in Washington provided Vilnius with $600 million in export credit, and the Pentagon signed a procurement agreement with the country. The U.S. State Department has set up an eight-person team known as “the firm” to provide help to countries cut off from Chinese trade. Other examples: When a Norwegian committee in 2010 awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident, Beijing stopped buying salmon from the Nordic country. Two years later, China rejected banana imports from the Philippines over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. In 2020, Beijing responded to Australia’s call for an investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic by raising tariffs on Australian barley and wines.