Taiwan Ups Lithuanian Investment Fund by $1 Billion

Taiwan Ups Lithuanian Investment Fund by $1 Billion

Photo: Taiwan National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin poses during an interview with Reuters in Taipei.

Taiwan will launch a $1 billion credit program to help fund joint projects between Lithuanian and Taiwanese companies in six business categories, a Taiwanese government minister said on Tuesday.

Lithuania is under pressure from China, which claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, to reverse a decision last year to allow the island to open a de facto embassy in Vilnius under its own name.

China has downgraded diplomatic ties with Vilnius and is pressuring companies such as German car parts giant Continental to stop using Lithuanian-made components. It has also blocked Lithuanian cargos from entering China. Taiwan last week announced plans to set up a separate $200 million fund to invest in Lithuanian industries and boost bilateral trade as it tries to fend off China’s diplomatic pressure on the Baltic state.

“The investment and credit funds will help us strengthen the cooperation,” Taiwan’s National Development Council minister Kung Ming-hsin told an online news conference.

The credit fund will focus on developing semiconductor talent and facilitating semiconductor development, as well as biotechnologies, satellites, finance and scientific research, Kung said.

Lithuania’s Economy and Innovations Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė said the country plans to open a trade representation office in Taiwan in the spring.

U.S. diplomats have expressed strong support for Lithuania, calling China’s pressure “economic coercion.”

Lithuania’s foreign minister said he would discuss Chinese pressure with EU colleagues next Friday.

Full story here.