Betting on the crumbs of the United States table Illustration: Liu Rui / GT
Lithuania and the dismissive secessionists in Hong Kong and Taiwan are of the same failed and foolish type. By facing China with a narrow mind, they seek insignificant short-term gains. Speaking to the major Western powers, Lithuania not only instigated China on the Taiwan issue to violate China’s interests, but even treated an infamous Hong Kong secessionist with courtesy.
Nathan Law Kwun Chung, a secessionist and Hong Kong fugitive wanted by Hong Kong police, said on Facebook on Monday that he visited Lithuania that day. He met Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and also had an “in-depth conversation” with Marius Matijošaitis, leader of the Lithuanian parliamentary group for relations with Hong Kong, as well as with Dovilė Šakalienė, a Lithuanian MP who was sanctioned by China for its stance on Xinjiang-related affairs. Nathan Law also said Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomenas had taken him on a tour of the country’s capital, Vilnius.
Some Chinese netizens said that these Lithuanian officials and Nathan Law were “in league with each other”. “These pro-secessionist forces in Hong Kong and Taiwan are trying to rally abroad. In the current general trend, very few countries would like to accept them. Lithuania, that anti-China vanguard, has become the one of their choices. It’s a very awkward political act, “Li Xiaobing, a Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs expert at Nankai University, told the Global Times.
What these Lithuanian and secessionist officials from Hong Kong and Taiwan have in common is that they are all used as political tools to do the “dirty work” of certain great powers. They are in collusion and are also emboldened.
Nathan Law and other fugitive Hong Kong secessionists violated Hong Kong’s national security law. Although they fled abroad, their days are numbered. As for the island of Taiwan, it will never become a “country” recognized by the international community. Although some Western countries have played tricks on the Taiwan question, they do not dare to publicly violate the universally adopted one-China principle. Only Lithuania made serious contact with these secessionists doomed to be eliminated by the mainstream of the time. It is an eclipse of Lithuania’s own status.
Lithuania has clearly and wrongly overestimated its capabilities. Some Western countries had tried to use the chaotic situation in Hong Kong to spoil China, but ultimately failed. Is a small country like Lithuania now trying to play the vanguard role to provoke the sensitive issues of Hong Kong and Taiwan, and to play politics between the big countries? This is wishful thinking, as Lithuania can never affect the historic trend of China’s national reunification, and Lithuania’s actions will only reduce the room for its own strategic options.
Lithuania has virtually no national power. But instead of following the general trend in international relations, he chose to ally himself with pro-secessionist forces in Hong Kong and Taiwan, moving further away from the correct diplomatic path. Lithuania has offended both China and Russia, won favor with the United States, and eroded the foundation of the one-China principle in China-EU relations. It is surprising that a sovereign country like Lithuania behaves like Nathan Law and his ilk, trying to gain short-term interests by provoking China. But in the long run, Lithuania will face serious geopolitical shocks.
“Lithuania will lose more opportunities and prospects for future cooperation [with China]. At the UN, the G20 and other important multilateral platforms, it is difficult for Lithuania to expect its own interests and demands to be supported by China, ”said Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies, China Institute of International Studies, the Global Times.
It won’t be long before Lithuania realizes that such collusion is just a victim of competition between the great powers. This harms Lithuania’s own interests and also affects long-term regional peace. If Lithuania lacks self-awareness and goes too far, is it prepared to pay a heavy price?