The Lithuanian Parliament will convene today to conduct hearings on human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Following a historic move by
The Lithuanian Parliament will convene today to conduct hearings on human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Following a historic move by the EU to sanction China, Beijing targeted four Lithuanian politicians, among other European diplomats, with sanctions. Vilnius still plans to recognize China’s repression of Uighurs as genocide.
The hearings come after Lithuania decided not to participate in this year’s China-led “17+1” summit, dedicated to developing mutual investment and trade with Eastern European countries. Instead, Lithuania rejected engagement with Beijing in favor of boosting relations with the EU and Taiwan.
While Beijing is unlikely to acknowledge its actions in Xinjiang, expect Lithuania to push for further actions from Europe perhaps on a level that could threaten the EU-China investment pact signed in December. In the short term, China will likely retaliate with stricter sanctions, including pressure on Lithuanian enterprises. Vilnius is likely hoping its firm stance against Beijing will be noticed in Washington—the Baltic states’ most important NATO ally—as the US continues to develop its China strategy under the Biden administration.
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