Small Lithuania takes on China, mighty India appeases dragon
In the aftermath of China’s treachery in Galwan in June 2020, there was some talk about India reviewing its adherence to the One China policy, but nothing came out of it
Ravi Shanker Kapoor | January 9, 2022 6:37 pm
Lithuanian flag (Picture courtesy: Wikipedia.org)
Tiny Lithuania has shown incredible courage by taking on China, the world’s most dangerous rogue state. The European nation with a population of fewer than 2.8 million, smaller than that of the Trans-Yamuna part of Delhi, had the gumption of letting Taiwan open a representative office in Vilnius. The dragon has reacted with characteristic… wolfishness.
Beijing unleashed its wolf warrior diplomacy in no time; it blocked all imports from the Baltic nation to Taiwan. China downgraded relations with Lithuania, calling it a “treacherous” supporter of Taiwanese separatism. Lithuania’s move, according to China, undermined its “sovereignty and territorial integrity,” thus setting a “bad precedent internationally.”
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, however, has refused to buckle. While still supporting the ‘One China’ policy, she said, “Our government’s programme says Lithuania wants a more intense economic, cultural and scientific relationship with Taiwan.”
Unfortunately, all major countries, including India, follow the ‘One China’ policy. It began 1979 when the US recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and derecognized the Republic of China (ROC) or Taiwan. However, many countries, including ours, have commercial relations with Taiwan. Today, only a clutch of small nations recognize Taiwan.
Lithuania has received support from the European Commission and the US. One reason is that China’s action against Lithuanian merchandise to Taiwan has adversely and indirectly affected France, Germany, and Sweden, for Lithuanian supply chains are involved.
“We have immediate concern about the Government of China’s attempt to bully Lithuania, a country of fewer than three million people,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
While a small nation like Lithuania has stood up to China’s bullying, India continues to placate its bellicose enemy. In the aftermath of China’s treachery in Galwan in June 2020, there was some talk about India reviewing its adherence to the One China policy, but nothing came out of it.
Indeed, India continues with its appeasement policy. The Ministry of External Affairs, still steeped in the non-alignment dogmas, can only come out with stale, ineffectual statements criticizing Beijing but can’t formulate a foreign policy that could hurt the Chinese Communist Party bosses. An example: the MEA’s inveterate suspicion for security alliances with Western nations has practically made the Quad irrelevant. Recognizing this, the US, the UK, and Australia have come up a new alliance to counter China.